ENVIRONMENTAL TRAVELING COMPANIONS In 1972 three river rafting guides founded Environmental Traveling Companions to lead whitewater trips on California’s Stanislaus River for people with disabilities and for disadvantaged youth. Today, along with rafting, San Francisco–based ETC offers sea kayaking, cross-country skiing, and youth leadership programs and is the oldest organization of its kind in state.
HALLECK CREEK RANCH For nearly 40 years Halleck Creek Ranch has helped create a better quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through therapeutic horseback riding. Ranch staff pairs gentle horses with dedicated volunteers, creating a team that carries riders into the Nicasio countryside. A pioneer in the concept, Halleck Creek Ranch is one of the largest and oldest weekly therapeutic riding programs in the Bay Area.
SPECTRUM SURF Natalie Pepper, a special-education teacher, surfer and mom, combined her passions to create Spectrum Surf. These one-week surf camps cater to kids with special needs, including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and emotional issues. The program’s home base is in Bolinas and Stinson Beach, where gentle surf and open beaches make an ideal setting for introducing children to the sport.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine's print edition with the headline: "Outside Chances".