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Camp Abilities Nebraska

 

Event Details

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Camp Abilities Nebraska is a week-long residential sports and leadership development camp for youth ages 9 to 19, who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.

Registration is limited to 24 participants. Registration does not guarantee enrollment. Acceptance is based on completion of paperwork, camper qua​​​lifications and administrative review.

Youth explore sports and recreational activities in a safe environment with instructors who have expertise in adaptive techniques. Your child may participate in:

  • Swimming
  • Beep Baseball
  • Rock Wall Climbing
  • Archery
  • Trampolining
  • Track and Field
  • And much more!

Each evening children share their new adventures with friends and camp leaders during our Care to Share session at suppertime. Instructors from the University of Nebraska at Omaha work with the campers and counselors.

Boys Town National Research Hospital and Outlook Nebraska are proud to co-sponsor Camp Abilities Nebraska.

Camp Abilities Nebraska is also supported by the Nebraska Foundation for Visually Impaired Children; Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired; William M. Wood Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; Omaha Association of the Blind; Brockport grant courtesy of the Gibney Foundation; Foreseeable Future Foundation; Walmart community grant; Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments; Nebraska Lions club foundations; ALDI, Inc.; Mr. Edward Hotz; Mrs. Susan Knight; WhyArts?; and contributions made through Outlook Nebraska, including Stanley M. Truhlsen, Jr.; the Adah and Leon Millard Foundation; and the Dixon Family Foundation.​​

Camp Abilities is a non-profit organization with a mission to empower children through sports and recreation. To find a Camp Abilities near you, visit www.campabilities.org.​​

 
  • “Right hand 12 o’clock, right above you, there you go.”

    Boys Town National Research Hospital and Outlook Nebraska Incorporated are proud to co-sponsor Camp Abilities Nebraska. 

    The week long residential sports camp is for youth ages nine to 19, who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.

    Youth explore sports and recreational activities in a safe environment with instructors who have expertise in adaptive techniques.

    Children participate in swimming, beep baseball, rock climbing, bowling, roller-skating, bicycle riding and much more.

    The first time that I climbed the wall, I was a little scared, but then you find out it’s not so bad when you go down.

    Actually, every time I climbed it, I made it to the top.

    There are many sports that are so visual that we have her watch on T.V. or we take her to a ball game and she can’t ever really play it like they do at camp.

    Building relationships is important for them and experiencing sports in a whole new way.

    My son has been the only child in his schools that has visual impairment. I think it helps Alex to be around other children who are blind because they have similar interests; similar backgrounds and they’re playing on a level playing field with each other.

    To see these kids be able to start from scratch, like with roller-skating, and not be able to stand up on roller skates to where they’re screaming they want to go faster around the court by themselves.

    There are really no words that can describe that feeling.

    “There you go, nice!”

Boys Town National Research Hospital and Outlook Nebraska are proud to co-sponsor Camp Abilities Nebraska. The week long residential sports and leadership development camp is for youth ages 9 to 19, who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind. Youth explore sports and recreational activities in a safe environment with University of Nebraska Omaha instructors, who have expertise in adaptive techniques. Children participate in swimming, beep baseball, rockwall climbing, bowling, archery, bicycle riding and much more. Help support Camp Abilities Nebraska and help give a child a week to remember.

  • ​​​Registration Opens March 1, 201​9 and will close April 12, 2019

    Registration is limited to 24 participants so please enroll early to ensure a spot.

    Register Here!

    Eligibility

    Youth ages 9 to 19, who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind and receive services from a vision teacher may enroll for Camp Abilities Nebraska. Nebraska residency is not required.

    In order to best meet your child’s needs, we ask that campers be able to use verbal or sign communication and be independent in self care. Please let us know if your child needs other accommodations such as a sign language interpreter.

    Tuition Fees

    Tuition is $300 per child for the entire week of sports, recreation, adventure and fun. This fee includes overnight accommodations, all meals,​ snacks, camp t-shirt and sports equipment rentals.

    At Camp Abilities Nebraska, our goal is to offer every child the opportunity to explore sports and recreational activities. Scholarships are available by contacting Kristal Platt, Vision Program Coordinator, at 531-355-6365 or Kristal.Platt@boystown.org.​

  • ​​​​​​If you have any questions about Camp Abilities Nebraska or eligibility, please contact Kristal Platt, Vision Program Coordinator, at 531-355-6365 or Kristal.Platt@boystown.org.

    ​​Does my child need to be an athlete to attend Camp Abilities Nebraska?

    No, camp is designed for children who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind, regardless of their degree of athleticism. At camp, youth will:

    • Become more active and physically fit
    • Gain the skills to participate in physical education classes, neighborhood games and intramural or competitive sports
    • Learn ideas about how to make sports accessible
    • Experience Paralympic sports, such as blind soccer, that will be introduced at the Los Angeles Paralympics in 2028

    What activities will my child do at Camp Abilities Nebraska?

    The activities at camp are planned to keep youth moving. Many activities such as swimming and cycling may be familiar to your child. Other activities like rock climbing, archery and trampolining may be challenging yet tailored to your child’s abilities. Some of the activities include swimming, cycling, track & field, beep baseball, goal ball, archery, social dance, fishing and yoga. Youth will be paired one-to-one with a counselor who will assist and monitor your child’s progress.

    What is special about Camp Abilities Nebraska?

    The benefit of having a child attend a camp for children with visual impairments is that we have already addressed many accessibility issues before your child even registers for camp. In addition to the adaptive physical education curriculum, braille and large print schedules and materials will be available. Youth will work with specialists and volunteers who are specifically trained in meeting the needs of children who are blind or have low vision.

    Who will be instructing my child at Camp Abilities Nebraska?

    Children will be led by instructors in adaptive physical education or instructors who are certified in specific skill areas. Trained volunteers will be supervised by instructors as they interact with your child. Our volunteers will primarily be undergraduate and graduate students studying in areas of adaptive physical education, special education or related fields. We place great importance on your child’s safety. All adults who will interact with your child must pass a background check and drug screen.​

  • ​​​​​​​Kristal Platt, M.S., is the Vision Program Coordinator and Genetic Counselor at Boys Town National Research Hospital. From personal experience of growing up with a visual impairment, she knows firsthand that children who have visual impairments often do not have the same opportunities to participate in sports as their sighted peers. Her personal and professional knowledge has allowed her to be instrumental in creating programs to benefit families who have children with visual impairments.​

    Glen Wragge, M.S., is an instructor for the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Nebraska Omaha, after teaching there part-time for the past 20 years. Concurrently, he taught Adaptive Physical Education in the Millard Public Schools in Nebraska for 25 years. From 1983 to 1990 he was a teacher of secondary special education students with severe to profound disabilities in Westside Community Schools in Omaha. He has been involved with Camp Abilities Nebraska since its inception. He earned his Master's in physical education with a specialization in adaptive physical education.​

    Corey Lorenz currently serves as the Camp Lead overseeing Camp Counselors. He served as a Sports Specialist at Camp Abilities in 2015 and 2016. Corey is the physical education teacher at Holling Heights Elementary for Millard Public Schools where he has worked for the past 22 years. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a BA in education and an endorsement in physical education.  

  • Camp Abilities Nebraska is seeking camp counselors for a week-long residential sports and leadership development camp for youth who are blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind.
    July 20 - July 26, 2019. If you are interested in assisting, contact:

    Derek Fiala
    Human Resources Generalist
    Derek.Fiala@boystown.org
    (531) 355-6408

    Camp Counselor

    The Camp Counselor will be responsible for coaching, instructing, giving feedback and assessing campers. Candidates must be highly motivated, enthusiastic and well-prepared to provide a quality physical activity experience for campers. Overnight stay in Boys Town, Nebraska is required. Counselors will be required to attend a training session July 20-21.

    Qualifications

    • 18 years or older to apply.
    • Able to interact with youth ages 9 to 19.
    • Good communicator with excellent social interaction skills.
    • Comfortable in the swimming pool (a high degree of swimming proficiency is not necessary).
    • Available to remain at camp for the entire week of July 21-27, unless otherwise agreed upon.
    • Pass a background check and drug screen.

    Equipment Manager

    The Equipment Manager is responsible for coordinating with camp staff to arrange for pick up, delivery and utilization of all camp equipment. Candidates must be enthusiastic, motivated and detail-oriented. The Equipment Manager is required to attend a training session July 20-21, although duties will begin prior to this date.

    Qualifications

    • 18 years or older to apply.
    • Able to easily interact with youth ages 9 to 19.
    • Physically able to occasionally lift objects 30-40 lbs.
    • Available to attend camp for the entirety of the week, July 20-26, unless otherwise agreed upon.
    • All staff must pass a background check and drug screen.

    Food Service Manager

    The Food Service Manager will be responsible for meeting the caterer and assisting staff with setting up, serving and cleaning up catered food. Candidates must be enthusiastic, motivated and detail-oriented. The Food Service Manager will be required to attend a training session July 20-21.

    Qualifications

    • 18 years or older.
    • ​Able to easily interact with youth ages 9 to 19.
    • Comfortable serving food to a large group of children and adults.
    • Physically able to occasionally lift objects 20-30 lbs.
    • Available to attend camp during all meal times for the entire week, July 20-26, unless otherwise agreed upon.
    • All staff must pass a background check and drug screen.

Upcoming Dates