Summer Adventures - Ascendigo

Summer Adventures 2015

Have you seen the face of a child with autism when they stand up on a wake board for the first time? Or when they reach the top of a rock climbing course? We have!


Ascendigo offers a fun, rewarding, and challenging day and overnight sports program that provides teen wakesurfingthe opportunities and support for children and adults on the autism spectrum to progress in active sports. Our staff is experienced in working with individuals across the spectrum and at any level of athletic ability. We know that people with autism can succeed at recreational sports – they just need the chance and the appropriate instructional approach.

Whether your camper’s goal is improving athletic ability or building friendships and deepening social skills, Ascendigo has what you need! Participants have the opportunity to choose their preferred sport from boating, river, rock climbing, or horseback riding to be repeated every morning throughout the week.  Each afternoon the participants will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of the other sport activities such as wake boarding, water skiing, tubing, rock climbing, white water kayaking, hiking, and swimming. At our base camp at the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus, Ascendigo offers supplemental activities in a social environment such as yoga, games, movies, music in the park, as well as low-key athletics such as disk golf and field sports. We have now established our Biking Program which will take place during the evenings at CMC and surrounding bike paths. Click HERE to see what parents are saying about Ascendigo.

We also offer Carbondale Community Integration on Wednesdays for our adult participants. This program includes our regular sport focus during the morning hours, with an afternoon focus on essential, functional and social skills in Carbondale. Depending on the individual’s skill level and personal interest, participants can assist at our local Farmer’s Market booth, gardening at our local gardens, visiting the local library, and others! During our Carbondale Community Integration we focus on social interaction, vocational training, interpersonal skills and community navigation and safety. Activities are in the outdoor sports and recreation field in an ASD-friendly environment and is fully individualized.

Summer Programs

Summer 2016 Dates Coming Soon!
Ascendigo will offer 8 weeks of summer sessions for Youth and Adults  in 2016
Information and Registration Links will be posted in February


Summer 2016 Camp Options

Overnight Adventures:

The overnight adventures starts Sunday afternoon and goes through Friday evening. Parents should arrive at CMC campus (Spring Valley) between 4-5 PM on Sunday for check-in followed by a welcome dinner.

Parents should arrive on Friday by 12:15 PM. Lunch begins at 12:30 PM followed by a movie of our participants as well as our awards ceremony.

Day Adventures:

Parents of day participants are encouraged to attend the Welcome Sunday dinner, this is a great opportunity to meet the staff and ask any questions you may have.

Day Adventures is Monday-Friday and the participants must to be on Campus by 8:00 AM daily. Please note that no breakfast will be provided for day participants. Make sure that your participant arrives dressed appropriately for the daily activity. A change of clothes, water bottle and towel is recommended. Healthy lunches and snacks will be provided daily.

Weekend Adventures:

Weekend Adventures are available as an add on to either the Day or Overnight Adventures. Weekend Adventures consist of two-night hut trips at Shrine Mountain Vail or a campus based river rafting program wherein the campers overnight at the CMC campus. On the campus based river program, the campers will experience a full day of rafting on Saturday, a half day on Sunday, and evenings of community and campus based activities Friday and Saturday. Each option rotates weekly based on youth and teen and adult schedules.  More information regarding dates of each Weekend Adventure is shown in the Summer Programs section.

Aide for the week:

Ascendigo strongly encourages participant independence and does not recommend family aides to attend. However, we do realize that in some instances, families will want the family aide to come with their participant.

Participants Aide will not be allowed to participate in the daily activities. As campus is not accessible by public transportation, it is highly recommended that the Aide drive or rent a car for the duration of his/her stay. This will allow for the Aide to explore the area during the day and get lunch.

Aide for the weekend:

Our participants will be participating in a variety of Weekend Adventures. The Aide is expected to participate in the Weekend Adventures with the participant as the staff for that individual.

Welcome Dinner/Additional Guest:

Tuition includes a welcome dinner for one parent or Aide. Any additional dinners may be purchased through the registration system.

Awards/Additional Guest:

Tuition includes one additional Awards ceremony with refreshments for one parent or Aide. Any additional guest for the ceremony may be purchased through the registration system.

More Information

2015 Sessions

  • June 21 - August 14
  • 8 one-week sessions; attend one or multiple sessions.
  • We welcome participants ages 7 and up for our Summer Adventures.
  • Many of our participants stay for multiple weeks throughout the summer. Our program is designed to continually challenge participants as they build their skills and confidence week after week. We offer Weekend Adventures to encourage families to take advantage of the benefits of a multi-week camp experience.
  • Check out our staff for 2015


  • Sports Include: lake sports (water skiing, wake boarding, wake surfing, knee boarding, tubing), river sports (kayaking, rafting, paddle boards), climbing (indoor, outdoor), biking, horseback riding, swimming, and hiking to build independence, trust and teamwork.
  • Additional Activities: yoga, therapeutic drumming and dancing, disc golf, frisbee, soccer skills and volleyball.
  • Week-ends: On week-ends, participants go on safe, overnight camping/backpacking/rafting trips. These provide an unparalleled opportunity for participants to socialize, gain confidence and grow.


  • We will travel throughout the world-renowned Roaring Fork Valley/Colorado River Corridor to take advantage of the many adventure sports for which the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are famous.
  • Our overnight facilities are on the campus of the Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs (Spring Valley Campus). We will be staying in dormitory rooms on the campus and will be eating breakfast and dinner at the college cafeteria. The campus is small, quiet and spacious and it has a number of amenities such as lounges, Wi-Fi, playing fields, a world-class disk golf course, a ropes challenge course, indoor gym with climbing wall and bike/walking paths.

Adventure Options

  • Day Adventures for youths and teens (ages 7-17) and adults (ages 18 & up).
  • Overnight Adventures for youth and teens (ages 7-17) and adults (ages 18 & up): sign up for as little as 5 days or as much as 8 weeks.
  • Weekend Adventures for youth and teens (ages 7-17) and adults (ages 18 & up) can be added to Overnight Adventures only.
  • Add a sibling: enroll multiple children whether typically developing or living with an ASD

Safety First

Ascendigo holds risk management as a top priority. In order to ensure there is an expert available, Ascendigo partners with best-in-class community outfitters and guides to provide their expertise during our core activities. Additionally, many of our Ascendigo staff members hold certifications such as Wilderness First Responder, White Water Rescue, Life Guard, Ropes Course certifications, and basic CPR/1st Aid.

Glenwood Adventure Company - Glenwood Adventure Company has a variety of experienced professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide a successful river experience for our participants.  This professional company provides Ascendigo with the guides and equipment we use on the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers.

AWAKE - AWAKE (Adaptive Wakeboarding Autism Kinetic Empowerment) is a 501 c3 non-profit organization founded in Fall of 2013. AWAKE has come out from experience working with Ascendigo.  AWAKE has highly trained staff and specialized instruction to ensure a one of a kind lake experience for the participants. AWAKE provides Ascending with professional boating instructors and equipment for our boating activities.

Varying levels of support, Guided by Expertise

Our campers are set up for success. Each participant is provided with varying levels of support by Ascendigo staff who has received specialized training in the unique requirements of individuals with under water smileautism as well as the fundamentals of each sport as it pertains to someone on the spectrum. Ascendigo utilizes innovative processes and technologies for each of the sports undertaken.  Our staff will work with the participant at his or her level and then support them in reaching the next one. Our goal is for participants to experience success and increased proficiency across a set of identified target skills each time they are experiencing the sport. The varying levels of support during day activities, our strengths-based approach, and our sports analytic approach are three of our many methods used to ensure that each participant’s individual needs are met.

With guidance from Diane Osaki, OT and Ascendigo Autism Behavior Consultant, Ascendigo has created and continues to develop our programs based around positive coaching methods. Diane serves as a behavior and educational consultant for families, agencies and school districts in Colorado and worldwide. She is a co-founder of Thrive Autism Collaborative, a pediatric occupational therapist, and has been working with people with autism spectrum disorders for nearly 20 years. She specializes in in-home and educational intervention for children with autism and their families. Prior to opening the Alta Vista Center, Diane worked with JFK Partners at the University of Colorado Health Services, where she was one of the early developers of the Denver Model, a renowned early intervention program for children with autism.


Community Programing for Adults

Ascendigo's Community Programing for Adults provides participants with the work, social and practical life skills crucial to developing independence. On Wednesdays the adult program makes thorough use of the local organizations and the characteristic generosity of the Roaring Fork Valley, and participants have previously worked in libraries, shops, farmer's markets, a community garden, philanthropic organizations and nature parks - they've even sold merchandise they had helped to create.


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