4,000 children go to camp.


For most children in the United States, running and jumping and hanging with friends is a given. But for children who are visually impaired, nothing is a given. Until, that is, they arrive at Camp Abilities. Camp Abilities provides the environment, the support and the expectation that all children can participate on the ball field or the tennis courts. Yes, Camp Abilities is an educational sports camp with one-on-one instruction. But for children who are visually impaired, it’s one week where running and jumping and making new friends IS a given.

 

“We thought we were going to Alaska to help kids. But they helped us more than we helped them.”

~ Dr. Justin Haegele


Part of the Camp Abilities Mission is to instruct college students on best practices in Adapted Physical Education. Instead of theoretical, the One-On-One method is experiential. Camp Abilities takes the college students out of the textbook and into the lives of children. The campers not only become athletes; they teach the counselors as much as the counselors teach them. Counselors learn to listen, to communicate and to bond. Counselors experience the truth that When We Believe, We Can Achieve.

 

“If you set your sights on abilities rather than disabilities, everything is possible”

~ Dr. Lauren Lieberman


At Camp Abilities, counselors are coaches and campers are athletes. The goal of the coach is to learn to teach and the goal of the athlete is to learn to play each sport, not just participate. Most camps feature most of these sports, and then some.

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“Camp Abilities gives our daughter what we can’t give her.”

~ Parents of a camper, Jason and Lori Bennett


“Camp Abilities has forever changed our lives. We have watched our daughter grow as an individual, develop relationships that are genuine, and achieve things that we as her parents could not give her. Maddie went to camp the first time a quiet, shy little girl. After her fourth year, she is now a completely different person – strong, independent, outgoing and mature. She believes in herself. She believes she doesn’t have a disability, but rather, a different ability.”

 

“Camp Abilities has helped me grow as a person, as an individual, as a teacher and as a leader.”

~ Jasmine Bradwell, graduate student at SUNY


Camp Abilities has become important well beyond the week of camp. All the professionals within Camp Abilities World have multiple opportunities to conduct research, create programming, develop leaders, and offer educational resources to the motor development community through The Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments (IMSVI). It was created in 2011 to organize and disseminate these valuable resources, and in 2019, The Institute held its first International Symposium in Scotland, paving the way to expand its reach all around the world.

 
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