Finding Inspiration at the No Barriers Summit

This article was written by Kelli Harms, part of Winnebago's Marketing Team, about her experience at the 2019 No Barriers Summit.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to represent Winnebago at the No Barriers Summit in Lake Tahoe, CA. I had heard of No Barriers, and specifically of one of the co-founders, Erik Weinhenmayer (who became the first blind climber in history to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain - Mount Everest). But honestly, I chalked this up to just another show -- only this time in Tahoe!

Journey to the Summit

However, I learned more about the summit and the organization thanks to our partnership through the Winnebago Industries Foundation and our accessibility equipped product line. Nerissa Cannon, a No Barriers Ambassador, came to Forest City to pick up an accessibility equipped Adventurer 30T, so she could 'Journey to the Summit' with her traveling companions, Kelsom Owens, Ryan Salm, and her dog, Cash.

Nerissa Cannon being handed the keys to the accessibility equipped Winnebago Adventurer 30T which is parked in the background

They left Forest City and made stops in the Badlands, Custer State Park, Flaming Gorge, and Great Basin National Park where they could get outside to hike, paddle, and climb.

Nerissa and friend in kayak with empty wheelchair on the dock.

I, along with several others from Winnebago and the No Barriers organization, greeted Nerissa, Kelsom, and Ryan when they arrived in Lake Tahoe. And it was at that moment that I realized the impact of this organization and that this wasn't just another show.

No Barriers and Winnebago employees greeting the Winnebago Accessibility Equipped 30T to the No Barriers Summit.

Overview of No Barriers

No Barriers means just that. According to the organization, No Barriers empowers people to break through barriers, find their inner purpose, and contribute their best to the world.

After being there for a week among people that have and are currently pushing through barriers, I was inspired! No Barriers is an organization for everyone. It's for you and me. It's for all of us to push past barriers that get in our way. It's about knowing that you have a support team willing to pick you up after you fall. It's about encouragement and transformation.

It was also rewarding to see so many individuals visit and enjoy our AE Adventurer 30T. The AE Adventurer is equipped with a lift for wheelchairs, and several other modifications that make it simpler for those traveling in a wheelchair. Whatever the barrier that they were overcoming, they all felt at home in the Winnebago.

Winnebago Accessibility Equipped 30T parked next to a sand dune.

Final Thoughts

No Barriers and Winnebago have a lot in common. Both organizations support being outdoors, promote adventure, are linked by community, and help create lasting memories. I'm thankful for my week spent at the No Barriers Summit and I truly believe in their mantra: "What's within you is stronger than what's in your way."

Nerissa with arms in the arm at the edge of a rocky cliff.