The Not-So-Lazy River

Central Texas' First Special Olympics Kayaking Team

Casey Dickerson is Down Home Ranch's Case Manager. 

Casey first came to the Ranch during Ranch Camp several years ago while a student at A and M, spent a while working weekends, and slid right into full-time employment after graduation.

Her 40-hour week consists of keeping track of the personal plans and training goals of the Ranchers, serving as their advocate,  maintaining voluminous files on each of them, and overseeing and ensuring their rights, well-being, and safety, all of which she manages to do effectively, efficiently, and with great good humor. 

Sterling, Kelly, Board President Genie Sorensen, and Kyle

Her other 40-hour week, though, is her true life's work, and the one she loves and performs with a devotion that astounds.  Husband (and fellow Aggie) Matt knew what he was getting into when he married her with the full Down Home Ranch community in attendance and providing the music for the wedding. 

Our team on the lake

Since Casey and Matt met on the A and M rowing team, Casey has expertise for a Special Olympics sport not many coaches can boast, so last summer she offered to take those Ranchers willing to try their hand at kayaking to Austin each Sunday for several weeks to practice on Town Lake.  Kyle, Sterling, and Kelly signed up.  They've been practicing for the past several weeks for their first kayaking regatta.

Sunday all their hard work paid off.  Despite stiff winds, each kayaker stayed in their lanes, correcting nimbly when the wind threatened to blow them off-course.  “They did great!” said Casey.  “Watching them go down their lanes, especially in that wind, and stay calm even when they got a little sideways and had to correct was very, very awesome!”

Casey gets a victory shower from a grateful crew

The Ranchers are justifiably proud of their accomplishment.  They are now the first Special Olympics kayaking team in Central Texas!