ABOUT THE FOUNDER

She spent her youth playing sports.


The second of four children, Lauren was raised in East Goshen, Pennsylvania in quintessential middle America.

She spent her youth playing sports – any sport, every sport.

During the summers she spent weeks at Camp Arrowhead. Her childhood was the first step towards Camp Abilities.

 

It’s time for her to learn.


Lauren attended West Chester University in Pennsylvania where she studied Physical Education with hopes of becoming a PE teacher. It was there she fell in love with Adapted Physical Education (APE). After receiving her BS from West Chester, she went to the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse and added an MS in Special Physical Education. Next was Oregon State University for her Ph.D. in Human Performance.

“I’m going to figure out some way to do this for the rest of my life.”


Lauren had the privilege of working in a variety of organizations and with a host of mentors as she pursued each of her degree programs. Lauren was 21 years old when she volunteered at Ski for Light. While learning to ski blindfolded, she realized “how much more challenging skiing would be for someone who could not take off the blindfold.” Lauren was paired with Sally, who was 48 and blind. Side-by-side and day-by-day, she and Sally struggled with the terrain. At the end of the week, together they had mastered the skis and the snow. Sally turned to Lauren and said, “Lauren, I NEVER could have done this without YOU.” In that moment, with those words, Lauren’s life pivoted, her dreams solidified, and she started a lifelong journey.

Camp Abilities Becomes a Reality.


Eventually, Lauren found her way to SUNY Brockport (State University of New York) where she has been a professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Sports Studies, and Physical Education since 1995. It was at SUNY Brockport her dreams for a camp for the visually impaired solidified and Camp Abilities became a reality.

Global Fulbright Scholar, Author, Keynote Speaker


In 2019 Lauren received the prestigious Global Fulbright Scholarship Award, which allowed her to take Camp Abilities to Ghana, Brazil and to present more research in Ireland. So far, she has written 18 books, 125 articles and spoken internationally many times. She has left – and is continuing to leave – a legacy for children and professionals. Camp Abilities is the pinnacle of that legacy.

“Never Stop Playing”


Lauren Lieberman and her wife of twenty-one years live in Brockport, NY, but that is not where you will find her. You might find her hiking the Adirondacks, or competing in ultimate frisbee, or kayaking or beating an opponent in pickleball. If she’s forced to sit still, she’s likely planning a dream hike on the Inca Trail or the El Camino. And of course, she’ll be strategizing how to bring Camp Abilities to every child in the US and every country in the world. She lives in Brockport, but she WORKS AND plays everywhere, anywhere and all the time.

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