In July, 20 Nebraska children who are blind or visually impaired participated in Camp Abilities Nebraska, a week-long sports and recreational camp for youth ages 9-19, held at the Iowa School for the Deaf. Camping activities included tandem cycling, archery, beep baseball, rock wall climbing, swimming, parachute games and bowling. Campers also had the opportunity to interact with pet therapy dogs and participate in a self-defense course.
"Every year, we continue to add more opportunities for youth to reflect on their Camp Abilities experience," said Kristal Platt, Vision Program Coordinator at Boys Town National Research Hospital. “This year, we focused on the three C’s: character, community and capability. At our awards ceremony, campers shared with their families how they demonstrated these skills throughout the week with their friends and counselors.”
Families were visibly moved as they watched their children share their experiences. One parent said, “I cannot say enough how great this experience has been for my daughter and our family. It has been so informative and wonderful watching my daughter strive to accomplish skills she’s never tried before. Thank you Camp Abilities for this opportunity!”
The collaboration among the organizations, foundations and counselors continues to give youth a platform to build confidence and empowerment. The camp is co-sponsored Boys Town National Research Hospital and Outlook Nebraska, Inc.