Service Leadership Camp (ages 10-19)- June 18-23 OPEN
Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp (ages 7-14)- June 25-30 Wait List
Elementary Camp (ages 7-12)- July 5-9 Wait List
Adventure Trip 2017 (ages 12-19)- July 13-21 OPEN
All camps will be held or begin at Camp Optimist on the west side of Grand Rapids, MI at 10324 Lovers Lane.
The total cost for either camp is only the $25 registration fee. All other costs are covered by donations and grants. OUB is supported by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Lions Club of Michigan, The Campbell Group, Alticor, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Project Learning Tree, Quiet Water Symposium, First Presbyterian Church of Lansing, Michigan, and many other donors who believe in what we do!
2017 Elementary Camp and Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp are now FULL!! We are still accepting applications for all camps and are making a waiting list for any camps that are full.
Service Leadership Camp – NEW EXTENDED AGE RANGE!! This camp is designed to help our teenagers learn important skills of leadership and giving back to the community. Our kids are often passed up for opportunities to be officers in school clubs or leaders on team projects because of their vision issues and/or social skills. Also, for many of our kids, adults and sometimes other kids are constantly giving them directions, tips, ideas, trying to correct what appears to be missteps, and things that they think will help them. But our kids rarely get the opportunity to help others, and helping others is a critical component of feelings of confidence and competence. Service Leadership Camp will address the key components of leadership and service and why it is important that our kids become leaders and community servants. Also includes the usual camp fun of campfires, swimming, boating and more!
Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp– By far our most popular camp for several years running, Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp (cooking and music!) gives our campers a more extensive experience in the world of food, and tons of fun listening to, playing and creating music. A wide range of culinary and musical genre’s will be explored, and also all the usual fun of swimming, boating, hiking and much more!
Elementary Camp– This camp, beginning on the Wednesday following July 4th and ending on Sunday afternoon, is great for the younger camper or anyone who has not been away from home before. We emphasize that campers learn as well as play; teaching Independent Living Skills as part of the fun-filled camp experience. There will be plenty of fun to go around and lots of skill building, field trips, and other exciting opportunities!
Adventure Trip 2017 – NEW EXTENDED AGE RANGE!! While less rugged than our 2016 rustic canoe trip, this is the Adventure Trip for the Adventurous! We will be visiting three places: Turkey Run State Park in Indiana, famous for great hiking trails and unusual sandstone formations; Berea, Kentucky, home to artist colonies dedicated to producing American handcrafts such as pottery, weaving, leatherwork, woodwork and more, and then on to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky to explore the wonders of the underground! Some younger campers may be accepted by permission of the Camp Director. It’s going to be AMAZING! Don’t miss it!
How do I sign my child up for one of OUB’s fabulous camps?
- A registration fee of $25 per family is the only fee required. OUB is not charging a tuition fee for camps, making OUB camps almost FREE.
- Only 6 campers will be accepted at each camp on a first-come, first-served basis. This ensures your child gets the VERY BEST OUB has to offer! To reserve your child’s spot, you must send in your $25 non-refundable registration fee with your camp registration form.
- Please see our Registration Page for the form and more information.
Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind is a private non-profit organization that is solely dedicated to helping children and young adults who are blind or have low vision build life skills, self-confidence and independence. In 2016, the only fee for campers is a $25 per family registration fee. Parents and guardians should understand that a camp like ours, with a nearly one-to-one camper to staff ratio, is very expensive to operate. OUB would very much appreciate your willingness to attend a meeting of a supporter of OUB, such as a local Lions Club, to express in your own words how much our camps mean to your child and your family.
Your local Lions Club, Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, or other local social service club may also assist with transportation funds for your child to attend camp. You will need to contact them EARLY, as many clubs do not meet in the summer.
Lions Clubs of Michigan
Many Lions Clubs of Michigan have helped support Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind. Many towns in Michigan have clubs. You can help us by contacting your local club and asking if you can share your experience with OUB Camps with them. To find one near you, go to the Lions International website.
Other sources of support may include the Michigan Bureau of Services to Blind Persons, your local church, or other service organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, etc. Examples of how to write a letter asking for support is available on our website.
What else do I need to know?
- OUB Summer Camps will be held at Camp Optimist on the west side of Grand Rapids, MI easily accessed off Lake Michigan Drive (M-45) at 10324 Lovers Lane.
- Campers will be given the opportunity to choose a first choice and second choice camp.
- Most camps begin on Sunday afternoon and end on Friday morning. Some transportation may be available by advance arrangement.
- OUB Summer Camps are all about fun and education, where kids learn new skills in a supportive, encouraging environment that will help them become more independent, and have fun doing many traditional camp activities, such as cooking over a campfire, swimming and playing all sorts of games!
- Each camper will have a concentrated individualized program tailored to his or her specific needs, in order to learn new or advanced skills of blindness. This includes specific skills needed for children with low vision.
- Each family and camper will have direct input into determining their individualized program and help choose what skills they want to learn.
- Each camper will learn to make the most of their senses, whether it be their remaining vision, or touch, smell, hearing or taste.
- Almost everyone loves good food, but cooking is one of the most difficult independence skills to learn, requiring a lot of repetition. Each camper will have the opportunity to learn basic cooking skills every day of camp, including outdoor cooking. Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp will include more even more cooking, individual instruction and practice as well as fabulous music and music instruction from skilled musicians!
- Over half of our staff are young adults who are blind or visually impaired. They are the best role models for your children!
- Gwen Botting, former MPVI president, current MPVI board member, and mother of a successful college senior who is blind, will be Camp Director, Cooking and Gardening Instructor, and Camp Cook! She is dedicated to ensuring your child has a high quality, successful camp experience!
OUB knows that teachers usually do not have the time or facilities to teach important skills of independence like cooking, how to do simple repairs, carrying groceries while using a cane, and cleaning. Families often do not know how to teach their child who is blind or has low vision these critical tasks. OUB stands in the gap, giving kids experience with healthy activities that help them grow in skill and self-confidence!
Children who are blind or visually impaired generally need much more practice to become proficient at a skill. Camp provides some of that practice in a “you can do it!” atmosphere!
For more information on OUB Camps, contact Gwen Botting at:
989-855-2430 or 616-755-2221
Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind’s mission is to building life skills, self-confidence and independence for children and young adults who are blind or have low vision.