In July of 2017, the St. Louis Arc embarked on a new adventure. Arc Escapes was created to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities an affordable and safe option to explore the Midwest. Since the summer of 2017, the Arc has taken six weekend getaway trips with 34 individuals traveling to new cities. Trips have included Memphis, Kansas City, Branson, and Chicago.
Each trip provides a new experience. The Arc’s Leisure Coordinator determines several pre-planned activities in the selected city. Activities have included visiting local attractions such as Dollywood and Wrigley Field, exploring the outdoors through fishing, hiking, or zip lining, and discovering local cuisine. While some activities are planned, the group has the opportunity to determine additional adventures upon arriving at their destination.
Arc Escapes offers the opportunity to learn valuable travel skills and make new friends. During these trips, individuals manage their money, make decisions on what to explore, socialize with other travelers, and learn how to navigate a new city. Six individuals attend each weekend getaway with two support staff and one program coordinator, a 1:2 support ratio.
The weekend of January 25-27 individuals will have the opportunity to visit Indianapolis, Indiana. Activities will include visits to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo. Additional activities will be decided by the group during the trip. Registration is due this Friday, January 18, so register today! Other upcoming trips this year will include Hannibal, Missouri; Eureka Springs, Arkansas; Trout Lodge in Illinois; Springfield, Missouri; and Nashville, Tennessee.
Arc Escapes has proved to be a successful program. “During each trip that we have hosted, there have been small achievements,” says Clinton Hall, Program Coordinator. “Individuals have made new friends or have accomplished a goal of doing something new. It’s been fun to experience these milestones with people.”