Day On The Lake: Barrows And Bartlett

This Amazing Watersports Program Helps Those With Disabilities

Day On The Lake-Mono-skiing
Mono skiing is a type of adaptive waterskiing that requires upper-body strength and good trunk control. The program has skis in various sizes. A family member or caregiver is welcome to ride in the ski boat.

The Day on the Lake program is the only adapted water sports program for those with physical and neurological disabilities offered in Arizona. Summer 2018 marks our 22nd year of helping people who suffer from a neurological disability ride the waves at one of the most accessible waterside facilities in Arizona — Bartlett Lake Marina.

For Children And Adults

Day on the Lake is an amazing program for children and adults with physical and neurological challenges. Bartlett Lake Marina — in conjunction with Barrows Neurological Institute — has been the home of the Day on the Lake program for over two decades and has have been able to get the folks and their families out on the lake to come and enjoy activities such as wake boarding, adapted water skiing, fishing, jet skiing and kayaks.

Two Weekends A Year

Outrigger skiing is a type of adaptive waterskiing that offers support on both sides of the skis. It is perfect for first-time skiers and for those with decreased arm strength. A family member or caregiver is welcome to ride in the ski boat.

For two weekends a year, a reservoir deep in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest becomes a haven for people with physical and neurological disabilities. There they can water-ski, kayak and ride in a speedboat surrounded by clear skies and beautiful mountains. For some, it’s the first experience of its kind in their lives. For others, it’s the first water-sports excursion since they were injured.

‘Adapted’ Means —

Wakeboarding is taught using a specialized ski boat equipped with a ski boom.

Adapted water sports are just as they sound: Water sports that have been adapted for people with disabilities. Sometimes that involves gear, such as a single, wide water ski with a chair on it. Other times it means having a hydraulic lift to hoist people out of the water or onto a boat or jet ski.

DOTL 2018 Dates

Day on the Lake 2018 will occur on the following dates:

  • Thursday, May 31
  • Friday, June 1
  • Saturday, June 2
  • Thursday, September 6
  • Friday, September 7
  • Saturday, September 8

Bartlett Lake Marina Accessibility

Day-On-The-Lake-jet- ski
Wakesurfing is also available at Day on the Lake.

Bartlett Lake Marina is one of the most accessible marinas in the state, and has been since Bryan Church — and his brother Eric — had a vision to build it in the 1980s after a construction accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Accessibility, Church said, is about the details: Multiple wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and showers, sidewalks paved with switchbacks instead of stairs, no ruts in the ground. The hydraulic Hoyer lift is a big plus.

To operate a jet ski, one must have a valid driver’s license and be accompanied by an assigned volunteer. One may also participate as a passenger with a trained and certified boat-safety operator.

“I’d be surprised if 5 percent of marinas in the country have them,” he said in his office on the marina, where his cellphone rings constantly.

“It’s nice to pat yourself on the back and say that you’re a wheelchair-accessible place, but in all honesty, if I went to any marina around here I could get around okay, but a lot of it has to do with the personal services and the attitudes,” Church said. “I think our attraction to the folks is we understand what we can do to help you out, and we have the equipment here to help you out.”

Also Attracts People Beyond Arizona

Thanks to Arizona Disabled Sports and Daring Adventures, Day on the Lake participants can enjoy kayaking. Family members may also be able to participate depending on availability.

The marina itself does draw some people with disabilities, usually elderly people, Church said, but it’s Day on the Lake that attracts people from across the state, and sometimes other states and countries.

Barrow And Bartlett Sites



Bryan Church and Hurley welcome guests to Bartlett Lake Marina.



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