A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
November 10, 2005 Volume 36 / Number 3


Laura McLachlin Recognized for Her Work with Ability First Sports Camp

Laura McLachlin, co-director of the Ability First Sports Camp has been selected to receive the Exemplary Program Award, on behalf of the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the State Council on Adapted Physical Education.

McLachlin, Department of Recreation and Parks Management, has been involved with Ability First Sports Camp since 1989, when she came to CSU, Chico. She joined Eric Snedeker, who began the camp in 1986 with only a handful of campers.

Ability First is a one-week residential camp for youth with physical disabilities. The camp emphasizes sport skill development and socialization. Campers participate in water skiing, swimming, tennis, golf, wall climbing, soccer, rugby, basketball, and hockey. In addition, there are educational sessions, a skit night, pizza night, and a formal dance.

Forty youth from all over the state, as well as Oregon, Nevada, and Washington, attend the camp on the CSU, Chico campus. Campers sleep and eat in the residence halls for the entire week.

“This camp has given the children positive role models, as well as providing them self-esteem, team building skills, friendships, and an overall sense of fun,” said McLachlin. “This experience influences campers for life; many campers grow up and come back to the program as coaches.”

McLachlin teaches recreation for special populations to future teachers, advises master’s/honor theses projects, directs interns, and provides academic advice to students. She has published numerous articles in professional journals and chapters in recreation anthologies in the area of special populations, recreation, and leisure.

—Kathleen McPartland