Volunteers, donations sought for adaptive therapeutic recreation.

For nearly 30 years, Eagle Mount has been in the business of providing opportunities to those with disabilities in the Yellowstone County area through adaptive therapeutic recreation opportunities. That mission won’t falter this year, either, as the Billings-based nonprofit works with Red Lodge Mountain to continue providing their winter ski program.

Starting in mid-January and running through early-mid-March, volunteers work with people with disabilities on the slopes at Red Lodge Mountain. The program has been the cornerstone of Eagle Mount and is seeking help with their annual event.

“With ski season coming up, we’d love to mobilize the Red Lodge community,” said Emily Bailey, an Americorps VISTA volunteer working at Eagle Mount. “It can be hard for our community up here in Billings to get down there, especially on the weekdays.”

Those interested in volunteering with Eagle Mount can expect a virtual, “dry land ski training,” on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The training will encompass what it’s like to work with Eagle Mount participants and the day-to-day activities with the organization and its program.

There will also be an “on ski” training, Jan. 2 and 3 at Red Lodge Mountain, where volunteers will work on backward skiing, tethering, and using the adaptive sports equipment. Anyone 16 years of age or older may apply to be a volunteer to be a guide. Please email Emily at efbailey97@gmail.com for more information and to sign up for the training.

Those wishing to be involved in a more hands-off kind of way are invited to participate in Eagle Mount’s Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign, which will take place on Dec. 1. The event will be all-virtual and staff at Eagle Mount are looking for both monetary and in-kind donations to help support the organization.

Everything from office supplies to sports equipment is appreciated to help fulfill their wish list.

Eagle Mount has doubled in size in just the last year, Bailey said. From October 2019-2020, the organization served 417 participants. Those at Eagle Mount have opportunities for cycling, adaptive climbing, golf, and horseback riding.

Eagle Mount also provides a social program, ‘Out and About,’ which gets people into the community, teaching them life skills, such as crossing the street safely and using money. They also have a “Buddy Program,” which is specifically for volunteers between the ages of 12 and 15 who would like to serve with Eagle Mount.

“We work in a place where people with disabilities are not only welcome, but we give them the ability to participate in activities they might not be able to otherwise,” Bailey said.