Founder and Director of Camp Discovery
I founded Camp Discovery in 2009, nine years after sustaining a spinal cord injury. Prior to my accident I was a competitive cyclist in the road, track and cyclocross disciplines, but was injured in September of 2000, when I was hit head on by a car while training on my bike. After spending three and a half weeks in the hospital, I entered rehab at Craig Hospital, where I was one of only two female inpatients on the spinal cord floor. When I was discharged and began to re-enter the athletic world, more often than not, I found again that I crossed paths with few women and the activities I wanted to participate in were dominated by men. Not to be discouraged, I learned wheelchair activities along with my male counterparts, but also yearned for the bond and companionship of other women. Finally in 2009, I challenged myself to see if I could find others in my situation who were looking to be active, fit and create a community of support. It was then that I dreamed up Camp Discovery, a place where women could leave their limits behind and find out what they were capable of. I gathered a group of dedicated friends who would volunteer to help and five years later we are going strong. Below you will read about my friends who have joined me on this journey and helped to make Came Discovery a success far bigger than we could ever have imagined.
I am a native of San Diego, California, and grew up being active and participating in sports. I was a Division I college volleyball athlete and since then have competed in the sports of cycling running and triathlon. As a Californian I love being by the water and have now found a sport I am truly excited about—outrigger canoe. I have worked in adaptive sports since 1998 and originally got involved with Camp Discovery in 2009 when I was the Program Director for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I have since moved on professionally and currently work for the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton as the Race Series Director, but my passion for adaptive sports will always keep me involved volunteering in positions where I can fulfill my desire to work in this area. In my free time, I enjoy handcycling, watching movies, reading, camping and spending time with my two teenage kids.
I’m Claire Cahow and I have been a Therapeutic Recreation specialist at Craig Hospital since the early 80’s. Please don’t add that up!
I have a passion for the sports and introducing people to wheelchair sports. Most of my experience is in the area off SCI.
I have 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren. I love to run and bike and Nordic ski.
I have been involved with Camp Discovery from its beginning and watched Trish bring so many of her wonderful talents together to share and build experiences for women and made such lasting, and positive impact on their lives..
I am a native to Colorado and the Major Gifts Officer for the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation. I am newly married with two kids, Hannah, who attends University of Northern Colorado and Walker, a high school student. In my spare time I enjoy working out, hiking, skiing and traveling.
I met Trish about 6 years ago when she was pitching the idea of Camp Discovery. I have worked with her since the inception of camp and am committed to seeing it continue to grow. I have seen firsthand how the camp experience has changed lives. It allows women to try new things within the safety of a network of supportive woman. Many “campers” return year after year to re-connect with friends and try new activities.
My name is Carol Savage. I was born in Safford, Arizona. I graduated from Willcox High School in 1989. Shortly, thereafter I enlisted in the United States Air Force and after serving 20 years I retired in 2009. I am married to John Savage and we have three children, John (JT) who is 20, Lyanna who is 13, and Mayah who is 6. I currently reside in Aurora, Colorado.
I became involved with Camp Discovery in 2008 with my sister, who is a T3/T4 paraplegic due to an automobile accident. One day while at Craig Hospital we came upon a brochure for Camp Discovery. After reading through the brochure my sister decided she wanted to try it out and so the journey began and still continues today.
The most rewarding thing about Camp Discovery is it has allowed my sister to flourish in so many ways I never thought possible for her. It has also given me the opportunity to meet and interact with numerous remarkable women who do not let their disabilities hold them back from living life each and every day. I am truly honored to be a part of Camp Discovery!
Since my retirement from teaching in June, 2010, I have tried some new experiences: art lessons, a poetry group, bridge and golf. I traveled to Turkey and Myanmar. For the past year I’ve been a substitute teacher; again, enjoying the energy and possibility of young people. Always an adventure, I have a sixteen-year-old granddaughter, who, with her mom and dad, lives eight minutes away from me.
Trish Downing and I met when we were both working in the School-to-Career program in Denver Public Schools. Two years later, she had her accident, and she has served as an inspiration to me and countless others for her positivity, her athletic prowess, her acceptance, and, mostly, her “ain’t-down-yet” attitude.
This will be my fourth summer as a volunteer at Camp Discovery. Each summer on the third and final night of camp, many of the participants and staff share the lessons they will take home: their accomplishments, the hurdles they jumped, and the fears they overcam . This evening never fails to move, motivate and exhilarate. This past year, a participant described her experience on the zip line as something she never thought possible until she saw the other women try it. She wanted to thank everybody at Camp Discovery for giving her wings.
I know what she means.
I met Tricia about three years ago. I was looking to get involved in the community after moving to Denver and stumbled upon Camp Discovery online. I contacted Tricia to volunteer at the camp the rest is history. Since then I have met many wonderful people and created wonderful memories with the women who participate in Camp Discovery.
My favorite thing about camp is seeing the participants try new activities and have a great time doing it. I am motivated by the participants and their courage.
A little more about me:
I am originally from a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin. I grew up playing soccer, climbing trees, skiing, and spent lots of time on the lake. I went to Arizona State University for my bachelor’s degree and studied Kinesiology. After a long physical therapy internship and a very long cardiac rehab internship I decided to pursue occupational therapy as a career. I got my Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy at UW Madison and shortly after, I met my husband and moved to Colorado.
Currently we reside in Denver with our two dogs (Badger and Bardi). I work at Craig Hospital in the Spinal Cord Injury unit and also work per diem at University Hospital. During my free time I enjoy traveling, doing yoga, playing soccer, hiking, and snowboarding.
I am a Wisconsin native who moved out to Colorado to work at Craig Hospital as an occupational therapist. I enjoy camping, hiking, and bikram yoga. A big priority in my life is my family and friends. I got involved with Camp Discovery through a friend to be able to help others challenge themselves and their concept of “what they are able to do…” (which in return does the same for me!). The most rewarding part of camp is seeing everyone go outside of their comfort zone and accomplish things they did not think were the possible. It is amazing to see the transformation and comradery that takes place in one weekend:)