Camp Lighthouse provides overnight summer camp experience for visually-impaired high schoolers

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Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Camp Lighthouse empowers and brings experiences to those who are visually impaired in East Texas and surrounding areas. This year is the first year for the overnight summer camp and it’s been a busy week, with a full schedule for campers.

The camp is put on by East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind. Community Relations Administrator Craig Ellis said they’re all about empowering those with a visual impairment.

“A lot of times kids get shut out of activities at school because they’re blind or they don’t realize because they’re blind what all they can do,” he said.

The campers started their day at Grand Slam, bowling and playing arcade games. Earlier in the week they played different sports as well. Emily Anderson is a camper and said she hasn’t always been a sports person.

“But these I really had a lot of fun doing because I felt confident doing them and I could understand everything and everything was kind of tailored to what I could do,” Anderson said.

After Grand Slam the camp headed to Brookshire’s for a shopping trip to buy food for a potluck they’ll be hosting on Friday. Campers went around with a personal shopper and volunteers to purchase items on their lists.

“There has been literally no issue with me not being able to do things on my own. I felt included, I felt like I could do things,” said camper Trey Smith.

Throughout the week campers have gotten to play sports, toured businesses around Tyler, and learned independent living skills.

“We’ve had some self-care classes, different things like that, so we’re trying to address the whole child with how to present themselves, how to take care of themselves, and also have fun,” Ellis said.

For Anderson, it’s been a while since she’s gotten to do anything like this, but says it’s been a great week.

“All the different activities we get to do and kind of being away from home and getting that independence for a few days,” she said.

The camp was free of charge for campers thanks to many generous donors and sponsors.

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