Upside Downs to host new summer camps for community members with disabilities

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Upside Downs is excited to host the iCanShine organization in Lafourche Parish this summer, to help those with diagnosed disabilities learn to swim, bike, and achieve the summer of their dreams!


iCanShine is an international charitable nonprofit organization. Founded in 2007, the organization collaborates with local organizations and individuals to conduct approximately 100 five-day ‘iCan’ programs in 35 states, serving nearly 3,000 people with disabilities each year. The iCan programs include teaching locals with diagnosed disabilities how to swim (iCan Swim) ride a bike (iCan Bike), and dance (iCan Dance).


Through partnership with Thibodaux’s Upside Downs, iCan Swim and iCan Bike will be offered to those in the local area this June.


“As the executive director of Upside Downs, I am thrilled to bring our bike and swim camps to Thibodaux. These programs provide a unique opportunity for individuals with special needs to gain confidence, build physical skills, and enjoy a sense of community and achievement,” said Michelle Dugas. “Seeing the joy and pride on participants’ faces as they accomplish their goals and experience success is truly going to be the most rewarding experience of these camps”




Upside Downs is seeking volunteers of to help assist in these two summer camps. Volunteers will work side-by-side with participants and official instructors, and will be there every step of the program. “It is going to be wonderful to see everyone involved celebrate their successes during the course of the program,” continued Dugas. “I want to thank everyone for their support so we can make it happen!”


Any individuals who want to volunteer or companies who wish to sponsor the camps can email Dugas at


See the following information for each camp below:


iCan Swim Camp 

  • Located at the Thibodaux Regional Wellness Center Pool, 726 N Acadia Road
  • June 16, 2024Parent Orientation
  • June 17-21, 2024Camp Dates
  • $50 deposit per swimmer (refundable upon completion of 5 day camp)
  • Each swimmer must meet the below criteria: 
    • Have a diagnosed disability
    • No tracheostomy
    • Minimum of 3 years of age
    • G-tube or stoma must be older than 2 months
    • Parent or legal guardian must be present for the duration of the daily 45-60 minute session for all 5 days.
  • Register here.


iCan Bike Camp 

  • Located at the Warren J. Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium, 310 N Canal Boulevard 
  • July 7, 2024Parent Orientation
  • July 8-12, 2024Camp Dates
  • $50 deposit per rider (refundable upon completion of 5 day camp) 
  • Each rider must meet the below criteria:
    • Have a diagnosed disability
    • Able to walk without assistive device
    • Able to step to both sides
    • Minimum of 8 years of age
    • Maximum weight of 220 lbs
    • Minimum inseam of 20″
    • Willing to wear a properly fitted bike helmet
    • Able to bring their own two-wheel bike to transition to at the end of camp
    • Parent or legal guardian must be present for the duration of the daily 75 minute session for all 5 days.
  • Register here.


About Upside DownsUpside Downs, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization committed to helping the Down syndrome community through new parent support, recreational activities, raising awareness and advocating for a brighter future. We are a local affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress. Our goal is to promote the “Upside” and positive aspects of Down syndrome and further our belief that Anything is possible with Down syndrome. Read more here.


About iCan ShineMovement and Play are the basis for all iCan Shine programs. Each program provides success through experience. Every effort is acknowledged for each unique person’s individual abilities. Recreational skills can be difficult to master for individuals with disabilities. Breaking skills into small, achievable goals and celebrating each accomplishment builds the self-esteem and confidence needed to continue the challenges of learning.

Fitness is easier to achieve when it is fun and you can be successful. That’s when you really SHINE! Everyone can shine. We all just need the right environment and parameters in place to meet our individual needs. In the iCan Shine environment of teaching and learning, everyone advances, everyone gains by the experience, everyone is successful and… everyone shines! Read more here.