Camp offers youngsters unique motivational experience
Helen Keller famously said, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much"—inspirational words at the heart of a camp bearing her name for kids with vision and hearing impairments.
"This year's Camp Courage was wonderful, amazing and educational."
A dozen campers converged Sept. 11-14 at Ivy Green—Keller's birthplace in Tuscumbia, Alabama—to experience that sentiment firsthand as they took part in the second annual "Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience."
Born of a partnership between Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation and the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation, Camp Courage offers blind or severely visually impaired and hearing impaired children a chance to learn about arts and nature using hands-on learning experiences similar to those encountered by Keller at that age.
"It was truly a blessing to see the campers arrive with smiles on their faces, not knowing what was in store for them. But it didn't take long for them to bond as they sat around the dining room table, talking and laughing," says Sue Pilkilton, executive director for the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation.
Camp Courage works in collaboration with qualified teachers for the visually and hearing impaired from the University of North Alabama and the University of Alabama to advance campers' level of achievement, both academically and socially.
Ranging in age between 9 and 12 years old, the children are encouraged to "Be like Helen."
"This year's Camp Courage was wonderful, amazing and educational—what more can you ask for? A job well done by all," Pilkilton says.
Want to help?
This life-changing experience is made possible through the support of individuals and organizations nationwide, and if you would like to join this philanthropic cause, consider giving back by:
- Making a tax-deductible donation to Camp Courage. Click here to make an online contribution to Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation, and select "Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience" in the program designation box. Or, write a check payable to "Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation" and write "Camp Courage" on the memo line, and mail it to: Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141.
- Volunteering to serve on the planning committee for Camp Courage. Contact the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation at 256-383-4066 for more information.
Click the slideshow to see how this collaboration is making a difference, and find updates throughout the weekend at the Camp Courage Facebook page.