Out and About Shasta County…
This month, Enjoy talked with with Pam Copeland, the Executive Director of Out and About Shasta County, a non-profit organization that provides community-based social and recreational opportunities to people with developmental disabilities.
ENJOY: How did Out and About Shasta County start?
COPELAND: A group of parents who had been taking their children to Special Olympic activities, sometimes with other children, thought that having a program that would take their kids out for
activities with peers would help empower them to be more independent and also give the parents
some respite time. The program came together in June 2008 as Out and About Shasta County.
ENJOY: Your program strives to balance social and recreational activities with volunteer and
employment opportunities. What type of activities are popular?
COPELAND: Participants attend plays and concerts at a variety of locations, including the
Cascade Theatre, Redding Civic Auditorium (where last month a group of participants attended a
ZZ Top concert), Riverfront Playhouse and Axiom Theatre. We host gambling trips to Win River
Casino, go to the movies, bowling, miniature golfing.
ENJOY: What’s the age range of your participants?
COPELAND: We have people between the ages of 18 and 80 in the program.
ENJOY: Volunteerism is another aspect of Out and About Shasta County. What causes have
COPELAND: They’ve served as bell ringers for the Salvation Army and stuffed bags for the Think
Pink event. The past couple of years, opportunities have been slim with COVID. During that time,
we had wonderful parents who would bring them to the park for a picnic and outdoor games.
ENJOY: How do participants find the Out and About Shasta County program?
COPELAND: All participants must be clients of Far Northern Regional Center and be referred
to us by their service coordinator to be placed on a waiting list. It can take a while to get into the
program, from several months to several years, depending on the circumstances.
ENJOY: How many participants do you have?
COPELAND: We can take up to 36 participants but are currently at 30 due to staffing. It’s been
hard to find staff people since the pandemic.
ENJOY: How does Out and About Shasta County empower participants?
COPELAND: By giving them the freedom to choose their own activities, to go out and have fun
(safely) with their friends and peers without their parent or caregiver present, fosters feelings of
Claudia Mosby is a Redding-based freelance writer. She is the founder and director of The
Expressive Spirit, a wellness company in Mt. Shasta offering spiritual direction, arts and
nature-based activities and consultancy for grief and loss.