A non-profit organization providing outdoor adventure recreation and fitness that improves independent life skills for adults with special needs and challenged abilities

Specialized   Outdoor   Adventure   Recreation


While on many long hours of driving, back and forth to college, two friends, Pam Patterson and Leslie Murphy, both working with adults with disabilities, dreamt of an outdoor adventure recreation and fitness program that would meet the needs and desires of the increased population of adults with challenged abilities and special needs in southern Orange County.  Through many years of  experience and research Pam and Leslie learned how important health, fitness, recreation and independence was for people with disabilities.  Adults with disabilities desire the same things as adults without disabilities and trends show that emerging/transitioning adults desire to participate in outdoor adventure.  Research shows that outdoor adventure transferable skills such as: critical thinking, self-concepts, empowerment, overcoming fear, trust, respect, social integration, independence, and communication are similar to those that transitioning adults are required to learn and are necessary to live as independently as possible, in order to reach their full potential as adults. Camping and living skills are very similar - housing and food management, living with roommates, fitness, and safety skills. What better way to improve your health, fitness, and independent life skills than recreating in the great outdoors with like minded people having a Blast!!!  In 2009, as a Saddleback College Adapted Kinesiology Instructor, Pam developed the Adapted Outdoor Education and Recreation class.  In 2012, due the overwhelming success of the Adapted Outdoor Education and Recreation class and the lack of available outdoor adventure programs for adults with challenged abilities and special needs, Pam founded Specialized Outdoor Adventure Recreation (S.O.A.R.), on a very small scale.  Since it's beginning S.O.A.R. has provided many group outdoor adventures and private lessons from archery to zip lining, as well as life skill road trip camps to many Utah National Parks, Palomar Mountain, and several California State Beaches. This year, 2018, S.O.A.R., is excited to be an approved 501c3 non profit organization. Now through donations, grants, and fundraisers S.O.A.R. can provide scholarships, more programming, equipment, and more experienced, educated instructors. S.O.A.R. would not exist if wasn't for our Board of Directors and Advisory Members, a group of good friends and community members, who are all extremely knowledgeable and passionate about both the outdoors and people with challenged abilities and special needs. With that, we are jumping out of our skin in excitement to provide as many opportunities as possible. Our program will develop gently, adding more adventures for people with challenged abilities and special needs. Stayed tuned and in touch through Facebook (Like Us) @SpecializedOutdoorAdventureRecreation and get on our email list to be notified of upcoming adventures at iheartsoar@gmail.com or leaving us a message at Contact Us.

Board Members

Pam Patterson - President/Program Director

Leslie Murphy - Vice President/Program Director Assistant

Giovanna Santovito Carducci - Treasurer

Ron Hastings - Secretary

Advisory Members

Mari Weisberg

Scott Sargeant

Sarah Hurley