June 14-19 Cookin’ and Servin’ Camp, ages 10-19
June 21-26 Discovery Camp, ages 7-14
DAY CAMP OPTION see below
June 28-July 3 Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp, ages 7-14
July 3 Family Day Camp, all ages
July 6-9 Chicago Trip, ages 12-19
July 15-24 Adventure Trip (Tahquamenon Falls, MI), ages 10-19
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All camps are held or begin at Camp Optimist on the west side of Grand Rapids, MI at 10324 Lovers Lane. All camps except for the Adventure Trip begin at 3 pm on the starting day, and end at 10 am on the closing day except were indicated in the camp description.
The total cost for most camps is only the $25 registration fee per family except were indicated in the camp description. All other costs are covered by donations and grants. OUB is supported by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Lions Clubs of Michigan, The Campbell Group, Alticor, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Project Learning Tree, First Presbyterian Church of Lansing, Michigan, and many other donors who believe in what we do!
All OUB Camps include learning skills of independence. To learn more visit our Independent Living Skills page.
Cookin’ and Servin’ Camp (ages 10-19)- This camp combines our most popular activity – cooking! – with serving the community. Our kids rarely get the opportunity to help others, and helping others is a critical component of building confidence and competence. Cookin’ and Servin’ Camp will include specially adapted intermediate-level cooking every day, service opportunities, and the usual camp activities of campfires, hiking, nature, crafts, swimming, boating and more. Up to 8 campers will be accepted.
Discovery Camp (ages 7-14)- Who doesn’t like learning new things about science and nature?! This camp will give campers an inside look at how the world works with fun science-based activities. And of course, expect swimming, boating, nature, arts and crafts, games, rock climbing, plus cooking, social skills, self-reliance boosting activities and lots of other fun! This year we are offering a DAY CAMP OPTION for campers who want to try camp life and activities but not spend the night. Day Campers can choose to attend 9 am-5:30 pm Mon-Thursday plus the closing ceremony on Friday morning! Up to 6 overnight campers will be accepted.
Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp (ages 7-14)- By far our most popular camp for several years running, Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp (cooking and music!) gives our campers a beginning to intermediate 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! Up to 8 overnight campers will be accepted.
Family Day Camp- This year we are offering a free FAMILY DAY for parents and friends to experience camp along with their child. The family day will be Friday July 3 beginning at 10 am and ending at 3 pm with the rest of the camp. Your campers will cook you lunch!! All campers and their families are invited, please use the regular registration form for family attendance. Your child does not have to be attending Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp for your family to participate.
Chicago Trip 2020 (ages 12-19)- A perfect camp for teen campers. Learning how to navigate in a large city takes work, but it’s always more fun when doing it with others. This camp will focus on using public transportation in the Windy City including getting there from our home base in Grand Rapids via Amtrack. Our urban travel will allow campers to experience hotel stays and, we will of course be exploring the wonders that Chicago has to offer from museums to food to city events! The registration fee for this camp is $100, scholarships are available. Up to 6 campers will be accepted.
Adventure Trip 2020 (ages 10-19)- We will be travelling to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to visit the Tahquamenon Falls area. Tahquamenon features the famous upper and lower falls and provides miles of hiking trails through cedar forest. More adventures await in the surrounding area as we visit Sault Ste. Marie to see the Soo Locks and stop in St. Ignace near the Mackinaw Bridge! This is like a giant family camping trip with all your friends! Some younger campers may be accepted by permission of the Camp Director. It’s going to be AMAZING! Don’t miss it! The registration fee for this camp is $100, scholarships are available. Up to 8 campers will be accepted.
How do I sign my child up for one of OUB’s fabulous camps?
- A registration fee of $25 (or $100 were indicated) per family is the only fee required. OUB is not charging a tuition fee for camps, making OUB camps almost FREE.
- Only 6-8 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 non-refundable registration fee with your camp registration form.
- Please see our Registration Page for the form and scholarship information.
Due to special funding from the Elks Major Project Commission and Grand Rapids Community Foundation, scholarships are available to low-income families for our registration fees. Please contact Gwen for more information or visit our Scholarships Page.
OUB has limited funds to assist with transportation and may be able to provide transportation to camp for your child. Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, or your local Lions Club, 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.
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. This address in the GPS will take you approximately 1/2 mile too far SW. Please look for Camp Optimist signs and a yellow Welcome flag. (not the mailing address; forms, checks, and camper mail should be mailed to 4175 Westbrook Rd. Ionia, MI 48846)
- Campers will be given the opportunity to choose a first choice and second choice camp.
- Most camps begin 3 pm Sunday afternoon and end 10 am 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.
- 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 graduate 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!
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.