Common Ground Outdoor Adventures (CGOA) was founded in 1993 as an AmeriCorps*VISTA project at OPTIONS for Independence in partnership with Utah State University’s Outdoor Program and Bridgerland Audubon Society. In 1997, the organization incorporated as a private non-profit and has grown to serve well over 3,600 people with disabilities annually. CGOA seeks to increase the accessibility of outdoor recreation and discover creative new ways to access wild places. The organization provides adaptive equipment and support which enables individuals with disabilities to participate in recreation and outdoor adventures. By crossing perceived limitations individuals gain self-confidence, which carries over into the quest for meaningful employment, the pursuit of relationships, and active participation in community life. All outdoor activities include discussions, activities or presentations that foster appreciation and respect of the natural environment.
Recent major accomplishments include:
Common Ground Outdoor Adventure’s mission is to provide life-enhancing outdoor recreation for youths and adults with disabilities.
To obtain the resources, equipment, facilities, and staff to provide quality physically and financially accessible outdoor recreation opportunities for every youth and adult with a disability that has the desire to participate. We want to do all we can to remove barriers and enhance people’s lives through recreational experiences, while reducing the stereotypes society has about people with disabilities.
Our staff come from a variety of professional backgrounds and experiences in adaptive outdoor recreation, and are passionate about helping others get outside!
Sammie has been with the organization since 1999. Under her leadership, CGOA has seen monumental growth in all areas and continues to be a tremendous asset to the community. Sammie is passionate about progressing the organization. During her free time she enjoys skiing, river rafting, paddle boarding, and mountain biking with her family.
SaQuoyah has been with CGOA since 2018 when she started as an intern, since then she has been certified as a CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist). She loves camping, canoeing, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her family. SaQuoyah thinks that recreation is for everyone and loves that she gets to help others to participate in all of the activities that she enjoys.
Casey was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland. She enjoys swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and horseback riding with her family. She attended Youngstown State University in Ohio as a student athlete, graduating in 2021 with a Bachelors in Public Health and a Minor in Community Wellness. Concluding her internship with Common Ground in 2022, Casey has received her Masters degree in Adapted Physical Activity from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Mike is a longtime participant and volunteer at Common Ground. We would not be able to run our daily programs without the help that he provides to us in the office.
Daily Activities Coordinator
Holly found a love for outdoor recreation as a Social Work practIcum student at CGOA in 2018. After graduating in 2019 with her BSW, Holly continued to volunteer with CGOA on occasion as she pursued various careers in education and social work. After passing her SSW exam in mid November 22, she returned to CGOA a the new Daily Activities Coordinator. She is excited to be back and looks forward to planning activities that people of all abilities will enjoy.
Laura was introduced to Common Ground in 2021. She loves to see the enjoyment and smiles that the activities offer to the participants. She finds much happiness working around and being with people. In her free time she loves scuba diving, biking, hiking, reading books and sewing. Her main passion is her family.
Anna Turner is 23, and was born in North Carolina. She enjoys swimming, reading, and dog training. Her passion lies in advocating for persons with disabilities especially when it comes to workplace accommodations. Anna now lives in Logan with her family and is going to school majoring in Psychology with minors in both Social Work and Disability Studies. Together, with her service dog Vixen, Anna is looking forward to creating relationships that will last a lifetime.
Summer Camp Coordinator
Maddie grew up in Logan and started volunteering for Common Ground in 2018 mostly working with the ski program. She enjoys skiing, hiking, climbing, and paddleboarding. Maddie is currently at the University of Utah, studying Political Science as well as Environmental Studies and Sustainability. She worked as an adaptive ski instructor for Ogden Valley Adaptive Sports this past ski season. Maddie is excited to work as the Summer Camp Coordinator.
Emma is a summer intern at Common Ground and a student at Utah State University. She is working towards a bachelors degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Disability Studies. She is excited to be outside this summer and help make a positive impact on the community.
Miranda was born and raised just down the canyon in Ogden, UT. She is a Therapeutic Recreational Specialist intern working towards getting her CTRS. Miranda recently graduated from the University of Utah with a BS of recreational therapy. Her passions are helping others realize that they matter and can do anything that they set their minds to. She loves being outdoors and soaking up the sun.
Alisha was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. She is currently a student at BYU studying dietetics but is excited to be in Logan for the summer. Her love for the outdoors and her desire to help others see the many benefits that come from spending time exploring this beautiful world are what brought her to Common Ground. When she isn’t outside you can likely find her eating ice cream, reading a book or baking!!
Shaylee was born in Pleasant Grove Utah and loves this state with all its beautiful places. She worked in Moab as a river guide in past summers and was ready to take something she loved and make it into something more meaningful, which is why she is excited to work with Common Ground this summer! She loves seeing people experience the outdoors and loves sharing those experiences with them.