Columbus State University Print Logo

Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science

Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science

About Camp Abilities

Camp Abilities Columbus GA is a comprehensive developmental sports camp for children who are blind or visually impaired. Camp Abilities provides a 1:1 instructional situation for each child. Camp Abilities Columbus GA will provide various sporting and recreational activities for participants with visual impairments who vary in socio-economic status, ethnic background, and skill level. Sports and recreational activities include: goalball, beep baseball, beep kickball, tandem biking, rock climbing, swimming, and team building activities.

Purpose of Camp Abilities

Empower Children

First and foremost, our purpose is to empower children who are blind or visually impaired to be physically active and a productive member of their schools, communities and society in general. Because children with visual impairments have been shown to have lower levels of health-related physical fitness than their peers, the camp plays a vital role in reinforcing each child's self-esteem and confidence in their ability to master specific sports, recreational and social activities.

Educate Columbus State University Students

Secondly, this will provide undergraduate and graduate level students a hands-on learning environment on how to teach sports and recreational activities to children who are blind or visually impaired. This opportunity will aid in preparing them for their future careers.

History

Dr. Lauren Lieberman established Camp Abilities 18 years ago in Brockport, New York. Her vision was to expand the camp to other areas. There are currently active camps in Brockport, NY, Alaska, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Tucson, AZ, West Chester, PA, Texas, Merrick, MD, Andover, CG, Iowa, Toronto (Canada), and Puerto Rico. Efforts are also under way to create camps in Ohio, Guatemala, India, and of course Columbus, GEORGIA!

Jeanine Fittipaldi-Wert, PhD has been involved in Camp Abilities for the past 14 years. She started as a camp counselor at the Camp Abilities Brockport and spent a total of 9 years attending Camp Abilities Brockport as a camp counselor, assistant group leader, group leader, sports specialist and behavior specialist. While she was volunteering at Brockport Camp Abilities, she was offered the unique opportunity to be the Assistant Director of Tucson Camp Abilities, which she held for 9 years. She is now the Director of Camp Abilities Columbus, GA.

Since 2012, Camp Abilities Columbus, GA has teamed with the Georgia Blind Sports Association to extend the opportunity to children with visual impairments to attend camp. During camp, campers participate in team building activities, beep baseball, beep kickball, tandem biking, swimming, rock climbing and goalball. Camp Abilities Columbus, GA is organized and staffed completely by volunteers, the majority of counselor volunteers are CSU Health & Physical Education majors.

Camp Abilities Columbus, GA is very fortunate to have the sports taught by professionals in the field.

Beep baseball has been taught by Amanda Tepfer & Megan O'Connell, who each have over 16 years of experience with Camp Abilities & are professionals in the field of adapted physical education. Judy Bryd the inventor of beep kickball, taught beep baseball and beep kickball.

Goalball was taught by Hal Simpson, the Atlanta Force goalball coach, and Joma Leonard a player on the team.

Tandem Biking was taught by Crystal Spell and Aftan Hill, both with over 5 years of experience with Camp Abilities and are CSU alumni.