Outdoor Buddies is an all volunteer nonprofit organization, relying on able bodied volunteers to help disabled individuals and disadvantaged youths enjoy the best of what Colorado's natural resources have to offer.
Outdoor Buddies was founded by representatives of Craig Hospital and Colorado Parks and Wildlife who wanted to provide outdoor adventure experiences to mobility-disabled outdoor lovers. The founding president was Sid Sellers, a hunter safety instructor with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The organizational efforts were initiated primarily because of a need to find therapeutic recreational opportunities for patients who had suffered debilitating spinal cord injuries. Through the years, Outdoor Buddies has expanded its programs to include all mobility-disabled persons and a youth program.
Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado is recognized as one of the top rehabilitation and research centers in the world dedicated to patients with spinal cord and traumatic brain injury.
A statement of support from Mike Fordyce, President and CEO, Craig Hospital
“Craig Hospital has been continually involved with Outdoor Buddies since Outdoor Buddies was founded in 1984. We have watched the program grow from an idea to a well functioning organization that has provided many people with disabilities the opportunity to continue their love of the outdoors. Outdoor Buddies has been an invaluable resource to our Therapeutic Recreation program. At Craig, our spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury patients have benefited by the creative programs that Outdoor Buddies offers.
The quality of the volunteers associated with the program is inspirational. We have been very pleased to work with them to come up with new ways to make fishing, hunting, and a variety of outdoor experiences more accessible to people with disabilities. The positive experience, which many of our patients have received in working with Outdoor Buddies, has significantly improved the quality of their lives.
For some of our patients who have struggled with the overwhelming demands of their disability, the positive experience achieved through Outdoor Buddies has been the turning point in giving them hope for the future. We have been particularly impressed not only with the quality of the programs, but also with the high priority given to safety in all of the activities in which Outdoor Buddies is involved.
Outdoor Buddies is a wonderful organization, worthy of widespread community support. We are proud to be associated with them."
A statement of support from Rick Cables, Director, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
"Colorado Parks and Wildlife recognizes Outdoor Buddies outstanding contributions to help recruit and retain participants in outdoor recreation activities across Colorado, especially those who have mobility impairments and may not otherwise enjoy these opportunities. We are proud of our partnership with Outdoor Buddies and look forward to working together in the future to continue to promote hunting, fishing, camping, shooting and photographing wildlife for all Coloradoans."