June 14-19 Cookin’ and Servin’ Camp, ages 10-19
June 21-26 Discovery Camp, ages 7-14
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 16-24 Adventure Trip (Tahquamenon Falls, MI), ages 10-19
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DUE to Covid-10, our first four camps will be online only, but will include crafts and project materials mailed to your home for your child to do together with our staff members. Our staff is busy creating this new approach to camp and we hope you will join us! We are hoping to still hold our last camp, our Adventure Trip, in person as planned in mid-July. Registration fees for Camp-in-a-Box are $25 per family for up to three (3) camps.
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-in-a-Box (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 self-confidence and competence. Cooking and Serving Camp gives our campers a more extensive experience in the world of food and service opportunities, plus games, crafts, virtual campfires and more. Camp projects will be mailed to your camper(s) and activities will take place live online. More information to follow. Registration fee: $25 per family
Discovery Camp-in-a-Box (ages 7-14)- A real science camp! We will send your camper(s) a box with projects and experiments especially designed for kids with low or no vision including incline planes, propulsion, acceleration, nature, arts and crafts and more! Instructions will be live online. More information to follow. Registration fee: $25 per family
Cookin’ and Jammin’ Camp-in-a-Box (ages 7-14)- By far our most popular camp for several years running, Cooking and Jamming Camp (cooking and music!) will include specially adapted cooking every day, and tons of fun listening to, playing and creating music. We will also do science experiments in sound production. A wide range of culinary and musical genre’s will be explored! A box of materials and supplies will be mailed to your campers(s) and instructions will be held live online. More information to follow. Registration fee: $25 per family
Family Day Camp-in-a-Box- We have games and activities planned for families to do together and sessions to help you understand you child better and help them become more independent and confident! All content provided live online. We hope you’ll join us. Registration fee: free, but registration is required.
Chicago Adventure Camp-in-a-Box (ages 12-19)- Visit Chicago virtually! Prepare Chicago hot dogs and pizza at home! Visit places in the city auditorily! More information to follow. Registration fee: $25 per family.
Adventure Trip 2020 (ages 10-19)- We are planning on holding this trip as originally planned. The best of the UP! Visit the 2nd largest waterfall in the United States. Visit the Sault Locks and find out how ships go from lake to lake when the water levels aren’t the same – and how dangerous it was to navigate even with small boats before the locks were built. Check out a freighter that roamed the Great Lakes 100 years ago. Explore Native American traditions, foods, and culture. Participate in owl banding! Discover what life was like as a lighthouse keeper. All kinds of great activities to expand your love of nature and understanding of how our great state was built. Limited to 8 campers. Registration fee: $100. Scholarships available.
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.