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Featured on Facebook: Amplifying Community Voices: Always Choose Adventures

Always Choose Adventures connects and interacts with locals who share the same interests and appreciation for the world around us. This Colorado-based Facebook Group has harnessed the power of Facebook to grow their community and bring like-minded adventurers together.Today, we're sharing a story about nature-lover Chantelle who created the nonprofit, Always Choose Adventures. The organization provides tools, training and support to help people of all ages and abilities get offline and into the great outdoors. Its mission is to create a solid foundation of activity, adventure, and community.

Chantelle’s personal story starts a little differently. Just a few hours after she was born she endured major surgery and in the process had to be resuscitated 13 times. Because of this extremely challenging beginning, she now endures vocal cord dysfunction, severe asthma, and COPD which comes with its own unique set of complications in the form of frequent and multiple respiratory infections. During her childhood, doctors advised her parents to keep her indoors as much as possible. Never being able to participate in camping, hiking, backpacking, climbing or exploring left a void that young Chantelle would only be able to fulfill later in her life. In fact, she didn't start doing anything outdoors until her mid thirties. Knowing deep down she could do so much more, she began to choose adventures, which kicked off her new life journey. She slowly acquired key new skills and integral knowledge relating to her new passion and in the process met hundreds of kind, adventurous souls who have since changed her world as she knew it. Chantelle founded Always Choose Adventures to remind others who may be suffering from various physical or mental conditions that anything is possible!We’re helping people of any kind, any background, any disabilities get outdoors and off the couch. Through authentic conversations she’s been able to help many others in similar situations to start adventuring. “We strive to provide tools, training, confidence, and assistance to create a solid foundation of activity, adventure, and appreciation for the outdoors,” says Chantelle. Another motivating factor behind the formation of the group was that Chantelle recognized that there were more than 10,000 people moving to Colorado each month. This Group became a dedicated space to help these new residents better understand the Leave No Trace principles, meet fellow adventurists to explore with, learn new hobbies, and grow as happy individuals. Since 2016, Always Choose Adventures has been able to help members of its tribe living with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, autism, traumatic brain injuries, asthma, COPD and chronic pain get outdoors, offering free or affordable rates to all.📷 "I met so many people that have been great hiking partners, hiking buddies and obviously just a lot of people have inspired me," says Scott Garcia from the tribe. Thanks to the Group’s online interactions and real-life social meet-ups, he’s been empowered to climb some 45 peaks across the fresh air state of Colorado and has made a lot of friends along the way. Its success quickly has paved the way for more than 40 spin-off Groups being established across the country. Each one exists to help people experience the natural wonders in their own backyard, and make friends in the process. "We’re helping people of any kind, any background, any disabilities get outdoors and off the couch," says Chantelle. Through a short film series, Community Voices on Facebook shines a light on the people who are successfully building communities and bringing the world closer together. Explore this story and others on their Facebook Page.

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