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, tennis, soccer, swimming, and team building activities.
Purpose of Camp Abilities
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.
Dr. Lauren Lieberman established Camp Abilities over 20 years ago in Brockport, New York. Her vision was to expand the camp to other areas. There are currently active camps in Brockport, NY, Long Island, NY, Columbus Georgia, Alaska, Brazil, Ireland, Vermont, Tucson, AZ, West Chester, PA, Delaware, Oregon, Michigan, Texas, Merrick, Maryland, Andover, North Carolina, Iowa, Utah, Toronto (Canada), and Puerto Rico.
Jeanine Fittipaldi-Wert, PhD has been involved in Camp Abilities for over 17 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 & the Beep Baseball 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, tennis and goalball. Camp Abilities Columbus, GA is organized and staffed completely by volunteers and funded through donations. The camp counselor volunteers are CSU Health & Physical Education majors and students from other universities majoring in physical education or in the vision field.
Camp Abilities Columbus, GA is very fortunate to have the sports taught by professionals in the field who volunteer their time to aid in creating a successful and positive environment and experience for the campers and counselors.
Camp Abilities Columbus, GA would not be possible without volunteers and monetary and food donations.
Beep Baseball has been taught by Amanda Tepfer & Megan O'Connell, who each have over 20 years of experience with Camp Abilities & are professionals in the field of adapted physical education. For additional information about the sport of Beep Baseball, please refer to http://www.nbba.org/
Beep Kickball has been taught by Judy Bryd the inventor of beep kickball, who also taught beep baseball. For more information about Beep Kickball, please refer to http://www.beepkickball.com/
Goalball was taught by Hal Simpson, the Atlanta Force goalball coach, and Joma Leonard a player on the team. For more information about Goalball refer to http://www.paralympic.org/goalball
Tandem Biking was taught by Daniel McCoy, Crystal Spell and Aftan Hill, both with over 8 years of experience with Camp Abilities and are CSU alumni. For additional information about tandem biking, please refer to http://www.paralympic.org/cycling
Tennis has been taught by Lori Favoretto & Claire Mowling, both with over 5 years of experience with Camp Abilities. Lori is a CSU alumni & doctoral student at Auburn University and Claire is an assistant professor at the University of Birmingham. For additional information about tennis, please refer to http://www.britishblindsport.org.uk/sports/tennis/
Soccer has been taught by Claire Mowling, an Assistant Professor at the University of Birmingham who has over 5 years of experience with Camp Abilities Columbus, GA. For additional information about soccer (football-5-a-side), please refer to https://www.paralympic.org/football-5-side
Camp Abilities Columbus, GA History of number of campers that attended:
- 2017 - 16 campers
- 2016 – 16 campers
- 2015 - 14 campers
- 2014 – 14 campers
- 2013 – 12 campers
- 2012 – 4 campers
To learn about other Camp Abilities, refer to http://www.campabilities.org/other-camps.html