Chattanooga Youth and Family Development,
Therapeutic Recreation Services

Fall Newsletter 2013


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Our Mission
The Therapeutic Recreation Division of the Chattanooga Youth and Family Development Department seeks to provide leisure and recreation opportunities for citizens of all abilities. We serve both youth and adults with physical, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities. Through our programs, education and advocacy, individuals can build confidence, improve physical and cognitive abilities, expand support and social networks, and enhance overall quality of life.  
Mission Statement
What is TR?
Brainerd Optimist Fun Day
Chillin' Like Villains
Parent Participation
Special Events
Dance Class
Kayaking for Veterans
Additional Community Info
TR Wish List
-iTunes Giftcard
-Boardgames (new or used!)
- Small prizes for BINGO and other games
-Waterproof, digital camera
Quick Link Resources

What is Therapeutic Recreation?
"Recreational Therapy" means a treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person's level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.
(ATRA website)


August 2013

Here it is! All of Therapeutic Recreation's Fall programs and events packed into one full newsletter! Read on to learn more and go ahead, MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Participants, we encourage you to push yourselves this fall: physically, socially, emotionally, whatever it may be. Parents, caregivers, professionals, volunteers and teachers: we ask that you do
your part in getting people involved!

As always, please send us feedback. We want to provide the best services for Chattanooga and surrounding areas, so help us meet our mission and be in contact with us!

Elaine Adams, CTRS         and         Jessie Steele, CTRS
Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator                 Therapeutic Recreation Specialist      
423.697.1345                                   423.643.5716
Brainerd Optimist Fun Day

 Fun Day at the Brainerd Optimist Club!


WHAT: A FREE, fun day filled with fishing, bike rodeo, face painting, dunk tank, hayrides, safety on wheels, money in the haystack, and many more games and fun activities! Event will be held rain or shine.

WHO: Individuals with disabilities of all ages and their family members

WHEN: Saturday, September 28th, 9am-2pm

WHERE: Brainerd Optimist Club and Drag Strip (745 Scruggs Road, Ringgold, GA 30736- not too far off of East Ridge exit)


CONTACT: Jessie at 423-643-5716 or

Chillin' Like Villains

 Young Adult Social Group  

Chillin' Like Villains is a young adult social group for individuals who have various disabilities. We meet once a month at different locations around town, and do a variety of activities such as attend sporting events, potluck dinners, movies and much more!
August- Pool Party at Elk's Lodge - Thursday, August 22- 6-8pm
 Come on out to the Elk's Lodge in East Brainerd to enjoy food, games music, swimming and socialization with peers! Must RSVP by 8/20
September-Brainerd Optimist Fun Day- see details above! 
Saturday, September 28 9am -2pm
 October- UTC Mocs Football Game Saturday, October 5- 6pm
Let's cheer on the Mocs at one of their home games! The cost is $10/person with the group rate. In order to receive the group rate, you must RSVP by 10/2. If you RSVP after this date, you will not receive the rate. If you request a ticket, and are a no-show, you will be expected to pay. SPACE IS LIMITED!
November- Karaoke Night Thursday, November 13 - 6-8pm
Show off your singing skills to the rest of the Crew at the Chattanooga Zoo for our Karaoke party! We will be meeting in the Education Building, located at the back of the Zoo. Enter through the back gate of the Zoo. There will be pizza! Cost is $5/person. Please RSVP with your song request by 11/8 
December-Holiday Potluck - Tuesday, December 17 - 6-8pm
Bring your favorite holiday dish to the Walker Pavilion in Coolidge Park. There will be games, singing and more! This year we will be conducting a food drive in order to give back to the community that allows us to do so much at such minimal costs. Please bring at least one canned item per person. Must RSVP by 12/13
RSVP for all the above events by the requested dates to Jessie at 423-643-5716 or This will assure you have tickets, make the list, are in the know about parking, where to meet, and more! 
C.H.I.P.S. Golf

Golf Program 


WHAT: Calling C.H.I.P.S. Golfers! Join us this fall for a round of golf.

WHO: Participants must be able to play nine holes independently.

WHEN: Tuesday evenings, 5:30pm until dusk


WHERE: Brown Acres Golf Course

COST: $5 each date
CONTACT:  Must register 3 days before scheduled dates  Elaine at 423.697-1345 or  
Climbing Higher
Adaptive Climbing Program

WHAT: An indoor adaptive climbing program

WHO: Individuals with a variety of cognitive/intellectual and physical disabilities, ages 6 and up.
WHEN: Mondays, 4:30-6:30pm (first hour for younger participants, second hour for older participants)
DATES: November 4th -December 9th (November 4, 11, 18, 25, December 2 and 9)
WHERE: Urban Rocks Climbing Gym (1007 Appling Street)
CONTACT: Interested? Let us know as space is limited! To register or for more information, contact Elaine at (423) 697-1345 or
All equipment and instruction is provided.
 A special thanks to Rock/Creek and Urban Rocks for taking this program to new heights. 
Go!Fest 2013
Save the Date!
Saturday, September 21st
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Chattanooga Zoo

        Visitors of all abilities will go wild for a free day at the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park during the 9th Annual Go!Fest Celebration.

        Animal attractions and interactions abound, but breaking boundaries and increasing disability awareness are at the heart of Go!Fest, which also will showcase activities, entertainment and information from various social service agencies and other civic-minded groups, businesses and institutions.

      Go!Fest is part of an initiative created to help make Chattanooga more accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability.


Monthly Hike Group 

With the beautiful fall weather coming up, we are excited to once again gear up for our hiking group!

AUGUST: Tuesday, August 20, 6pm @ Sterchi Farms (hike on greenway trail).
SEPTEMBER: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6pm @ Enterprise South (new trail to explore!).
OCTOBER: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6pm@ TBD
NOVEMBER: Location and Time TBA (weather dependent)
CONTACT: Jessie to RSVP and with any questions: 423-643-5716 or
The Little Gym

 Gymnastics Program


WHAT: The Little Gym in East Brainerd has teamed up withTherapeutic Recreation Services to provide a class for our population! These classes will be held in sessions of 6 classes, every other Friday.
WHO: Children with disabilities and their siblings, divided into two separate classes of ages 3-6 and 7-9 years old.
WHEN: Every other Friday, September 13th-November 8th
DATES:  Sept. 13, Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 25 and Nov. 8
TIME: *4-5pm (ages 3-6yrs)
               5-6pm (ages 7-9yrs)
*Please note there will no longer be a parent/child class this session.
WHERE: The Little Gym in East Brainerd (7540 East Brainerd Road, Ste. 102)
COST: $5 per child, per class
CONTACT: Elaine at 423-697-1345 or
Parent Participation- NEW!

Parent/Caregiver Volunteer Program 

          Over the years, we have had so many of our wonderful parents step up to the plate and help with multiple events, conferences, etc. After all, when it comes to advocating for a program, who better to inform the public of Therapeutic Recreation Services than those who have experienced them first hand? 
       This year, we would like to keep this going. Help is needed for the following: special events (such as setting up/decorating for events, making connections with community venues, help with planning, etc); increasing community awareness of TRS at functions such as local conferences and symposiums (can range from working an info booth to representing TRS at a local meeting/community roundtable); gathering groups and/or resources to conduct fundraising opportunities; and other opportunities as they may arise.
       Interested? Please contact Elaine at 423.697.1345 or with your specific interest, as well as, your availability. Thank you.  
Scenic City & SPARC, A Chapter of DSUSA, Adaptive Cycling

Cycling Program  

 Looking for ways to get exercise and be outside this Fall? Have you always wanted to ride, but did not have the knowledge or equipment you need?
We have just the program for you!
WHAT/WHO: An adaptive cycling program for individuals with disabilities. Hand cycles and tandem bikes are available for individuals who have physical and visual disabilities. Three wheeled bikes and additional bikes available too! In addition to this, Outdoor Chattanooga ( brings their bike fleet for additional support and traditional bikes are available to check out! Depending on the cycle needed participants will have to be approved by the group that owns the cycle and fill out liability forms from the specific group you will be using a cycle from.
WHEN: the 2nd and 4th Monday's of each month, August 12th - October 28th at 6pm until dusk.
DATES: Aug. 12, Aug. 26, Sept. 9, Sept. 23, Oct. 14 and Oct. 28 
WHERE: The Tennessee Riverpark at the Hubert Fry Center (4501 Amnicola Hwy)
CONTACT: Please note that equipment is limited and pre-registration is REQUIRED! Contact Elaine at 423-697-1345 or

Minimum Requirements for the Safety of Participants:

1. Must have the cognitive ability to follow directions and instructions

2. Must be able to apply the brakes and come to a complete stop by the end of the first day of participation

3. Must be able to ride independently on the path with a volunteer by the third day of participation

4. Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI) must be one year post injury

5. Must not have medical issues which could endanger the participant, including seizures

6. Approved helmets must be worn by all riders

7. Participants, or guardians for participants under the age of 18, must sign liability release forms from SPARC, A Chapter of DSUSA

Scenic City Adaptive Paddling Program
Adaptive Kayak/Canoe Class

WHAT: This program provides the opportunity for participants to learn the skill of kayaking under the instruction of Daxton Bacalman and with the help of skilled volunteers. 

WHO: Individuals with physical and/or cognitive/intellectual disabilities and their family members. No prior skill or experience necessary! 

WHEN: Every other Wednesday as well as a monthly trip  


WHERE: *Meeting at Baylor Academy to cruise the TN River for the month of August

TIME: *5-6:30pm for the month of August



CONTACT:  *Location and times change monthly, so be sure to get on the contact list to stay in the loop and also receive information on monthly trips! Contact Jessie at 423.643.5716 or  Please RSVP by the Tuesday of the week of the class.   


       All equipment and adaptations provided!    



The grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. 

Special Events

 Go ahead and RSVP/Mark your calendars for these awesome events!


All Dolled Up 
Friday, September 27th, 6-8pm
CALLING ALL LADIES! Come out to Orange Grove Center to get yourself pampered, eat some light refreshments, and dance the night away! This is for females in the community with a disability. Participants will receive a makeover and get their hair done! Cost: Free
You must RSVP to Jessie in order to secure a spot at or 423-643-5716
Boo in the Zoo Dreamnight
Thursday, October 24th, 5:30-8pm.  
Join us for the most Spooktacular event of the season! The Chattanooga Zoo's annual Boo in the Zoo celebration includes a dance/DJ in the Education Building, some of your most loveable cartoon characters, trick-or-treat stations, costume contests,  pizza, games, and much more! This non-scary Halloween event is sure to have the whole family talking for years to come.


Dreamnight is a free, open house event for individuals with special needs and/or terminal illnesses and their families or caretakers. Dreamnight offers a VIP Zoo visit that acknowledges and accommodates the unique circumstances that generally limit relaxing outings for these families during normal operating hours.


Please RSVP to the Zoo at 423-697-1319




FUNDRAISER at the Flying Squirrel

Tuesday, September 10th, 5pm - 2 am



Join us at one of Chattanooga's newest hot spots on Main Street! The owners of the Flying Squirrel and the Crash Pad, who are also faithful volunteers in our adaptive climbing program, have generously offered a night to support Therapeutic Recreation Services. 10% of all the money generated that evening will go straight to expanding the opportunities within our programs and events.

The Flying Squirrel Bar is located at 55 Johnson Street. They have an excellent food selection and a beautiful atmosphere and decor, providing a perfect opportunity for a great night out with family and friends.

Must be 21 years of age.

Please come out and support Therapeutic Recreation Services!

  Holiday Lights Dreamnight
Thursday, December 12th, 5:30-8pm.
See the Chattanooga Zoo transformed into a magical wonderland! Visit the animals, get your picture taken with Santa Claus and enjoy fun holiday games, crafts and food!

This event is free for individuals with special needs and/or terminal illnesses and their families or caretakers.
Sunshine Ambassadors Dance Class 
 Dance Program


WHAT: Sunshine Ambassadors, Inc. is a 501-c-3 public charity whose mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities through dance, utilizing both structured classes and public performances.

We emphasize "progression" for individuals and the group, rather than "perfection" of either.  Progression for one dancer may be learning to follow directions and to stay focused; another dancer may learn the joy of being active; one may improve in gross motor skills, while another may learn to work together in a group setting. Instruction provided by Brittany Davis.

WHO: all ages!

WHEN: Mondays, beginning August 26th - November 25th

TIME: 5-5:45pm

WHERE: Hixson Community Center (5400 School Drive)


CONTACT:  Jessie at 423.643.5716 or   


Super Hoops 
Basketball Team
WHAT: An intramural basketball program focusing on the sport, as well as, social, physical, cognitive and emotional skills.
WHO: Individuals ages 12 and up who have cognitive disabilities.
WHEN: Mondays, Skill Level 1: 5:30-6:30/Skill Level 2: 6:30-7:30pm
***Call for questions on skill level placement
WHERE: North Chattanooga Recreation Center (406 May St, 37405)
DATES: Mondays, August 26-October 21
COST: $20 for the entire 8-week program
TO REGISTER: Contact Jessie at 423-643-5716 or

Team River Runner
Kayaking for Wounded Warriors and Their Families 
WHAT: Team River Runner (TRR), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, gives active duty service members and veterans an opportunity to find health, healing, and new challenges through whitewater boating and other paddling sports. Chattanooga Therapeutic Recreation Services started a chapter this past Spring.
WHO: Veterans and active duty service members who have a disability, and their family members. This includes PTSD, TBI, SCI and others that qualify as disability. No previous kayak experience required! You will be met on whichever level you are currently at.
WHEN: Every other Wednesday, as well as, a monthly trip
TIME: *5-6pm for the month of August
WHERE: *Chester Frost for the month of August.  
*Location and times change monthly, so be sure to get on the contact list to stay in the loop and receive information on the monthly trip! Contact Jessie at 423.643.5716 or and please RSVP by the Tuesday before class.
     The grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.
Soccer Team
WHAT: TOPSoccer is an official US Youth Soccer program enriching the lives of young athletes with disabilities through the game of soccer. 
WHO: Males and Females, ages 5-18 yrs old, with a physical and/or cognitive disability
WHEN: Saturdays, September 14th - November 9th, 10-11am
DATES: Sept. 14, Sept. 21, Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Oct. 19, Nov. 2, Nov. 9
WHERE: Redoubt Soccer Complex (6900 Bonny Oaks Drive)
CONTACT: Registration will be on the first day of practice (September 7th), but if you have any further questions, contact Jessie at 423-643-5716 or
Additional Information

 Here is some information on events in the community:

  Club Discovery

This fall, children ages 6-12 are invited to experience Club Discovery as we explore Medieval Times!

The fall session of Club Discovery will be held Tuesday evenings, September 17 and 24, October 1, 8 and 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Children will learn about this fascinating time period by making crowns and flower garland head wreaths, creating food from the Renaissance time period and creating their very own coat of arms for their kingdom complete with a shield.

A special fall mini-session will be held Tuesday evenings, November 5, 12 and 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will feature Vikings as the subject.

Children will discover Scandinavian mythology, how Vikings lived, and taste foods the Vikings may have eaten. Many adventures are to be had during this exciting mini-session.

A family membership is awarded in the spring to all participants who attend a minimum of 10 of the 16 meeting times taking place in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014.


To make your reservation by phone,  call Nancy at (423) 648-6045 or Beth at (423) 648-6040. 

We look forward to seeing you at Club D. 



Pickin' for the Pups


WHEN:  Thursday, September 26th, 6-10pm

WHERE: Lindsay Street Hall (901 Lindsay Street, Chattanooga) 

Come out for an awesome night to help support the Goodwill Assistance Dog Program! Founder Ramona Nichols comes out to each week of Camp ZooAbility, with at least one service dog, to put on a show for our campers. She does this enthusiastically and at NO COST! Let's show our appreciation for Ramona and for the wonderful services she and her team provides.  

Pickin' for the Pups is a night of beer, barbecue, and bluegrass music to benefit the Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy, which provides animal therapy services and trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities. Tickets are $20 in advance and will be available at in September, or you may purchase tickets at the door for $25. This special event is for human guests who are 21-years old and over.


Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society- BUDDY WALK 2013


What: The 2013 CDSS Buddy Walk

When: Saturday September 28, 2103

Gate Opens: 11:00 am

Location: AT&T Field, home of the Lookouts


Please join us to celebrate the Abilities and Accomplishments of people who have Down syndrome. Join us at AT&T Field for the 13th annual CDSS Buddy Walk. Let's make this the largest year yet! In 2012, we had 1475 walkers.


Schedule of Events:

11:00 am    Gates Open for registration and pick up of t-shirts

11:30 am    Guest Speaker (please sit in stands after registration)

11:45 am    2013 Official Buddy Walk Picture (please stay in stands)

12:00 pm    CDSS Buddy Walk begins


After the walk, please stay for an afternoon of fellowship and fun with your family and friends. After you return to AT&T Field from the walk we will have a complimentary pizza lunch, awards presentation, 3 bounce houses, batting cages, face painting, appearances from Looie and Snoopy, scheduled team pictures, resource tables, a silent auction, cotton candy, popcorn, and a DJ and dance area!


Bring your friends and family to the walk and organize a team to advocate on behalf of all people with Down syndrome.


 Registration forms and pledge sheets will be available on our website as well as a link to purchase your official 2013 CDSS Buddy Walk.


For further information please go to




Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk 

November 9, 2013


If you want more information or wish to help raise awareness about
autism in our community, THIS EVENT IS FOR YOU!


The Chattanooga Autism Awareness Walk's mission is to teach people in our region about autism. Walkers will learn about what autism is, how prevalent it is, how it affects behavior, how it can be different across individuals and how it can affect one's journey through life. Walkers will also learn how families appreciate that their community better understands autism and what they are going through.
To register or for more information:




Interested In?
 Upcoming Program Ideas... 
As we continue to explore more program ideas, we want to hear from you! If you would be interested in a musical theatre program or a cooking class please contact Elaine at 423-697-1345 or . More details to come...
"You are normal if only you are not abnormal. But by the time abnormality is defined, you are left with the disturbing suspicion that there is no one, including yourself, from whom abnormality is entirely absent." ~Wendell Johnson