Monday, June 27, will be the first day of Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind's (CLB) Camp Lighthouse for children 6-12 years of age who are blind or visually impaired.
The camp, which will run through July 1, will be located on the campus of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
This year's campers, both new and returning, are all from the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
"CLB is honored to have our 52nd year of offering children who are visually impaired and blind a summer camp filled with fun and excitement. We look forward to serving the children and their parents for another 50 years," said CLB President and CEO Anthony J. Cancelosi, K.M..
Camp Lighthouse has several things planned throughout the week, including live music, refreshments, activities for children, and vendors. This year, we have added a technology component to the activities. Adaptive computers, equipped with software that reads aloud and magnifies screen text, will be available for camp participants. The focus will be on Internet safety and is a result of a grant award from the Verizon Pioneers, Alexander Graham Bell Chapter #15, the largest industry-related nonprofit volunteer organization in the world. In addition to funding, Pioneers volunteers will assist in providing instruction on Internet safety.
Activities at Camp Lighthouse will showcase several products that aid people who are blind or visually impaired. For example, campers will play beep-ball, which is a variation of the T-ball game. With beep-ball, the bases beep to aid the players.
As in previous years, children will enjoy a special guest visit from a professional DC United soccer player. Each year since 2005, a United soccer player has made an appearance at the camp. Children will have an opportunity to learn soccer skills and ask questions.
"We could not continue to put on such an important event year after year without the support of our sponsors and volunteers," noted Cancelosi. "We are grateful for their participation."
Due to the generosity of volunteer camp counselors who are primarily from area high schools, CLB is able to have one-on-one support for its campers. Camp has been a rewarding experience for the volunteers as they have an opportunity to serve their community and earn community service hours toward graduation. Also, The University of Maryland has students volunteering at the camp, and these students use their past experience as camp counselors to make a positive impact on the lives of children who are visually impaired or blind.
CLB recognizes its camp sponsors, including PNC Bank, PEPCO, Douglas Development and Digital Office Products, and many individual donors, which enable CLB to continue its long-standing tradition, Camp Lighthouse. CLB also recognizes Verizon Pioneers' Alexander Graham Bell Chapter #15 for its contribution of funding and volunteers so that services to campers can include Internet safety.
About Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind -CLB serves blind and visually impaired people of all ages in the Washington, D.C., area with vision-health screenings, adaptive devices, support groups, retraining, and job counseling and placement.
17% of veterans are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with visual impairment. CLB partners with government and private agencies to retrain and employ these wounded warriors.
For more information, please visit our website at www.clb.org.
About Pioneers -Founded in 1911 as the Telephone Pioneers of America, Pioneers has grown to be the largest industry-related volunteer organization in the world. A non-profit network of more than 620,000 volunteers, Pioneers is committed to effect immediate, tangible change in local communities in partnership with its sponsors such as AT&T, Bell Aliant, Qwest, SaskTel, Verizon Foundation, FairPoint Communications, Frontier and Telcordia. Committed to serving communities in the United States, Canada and around the world, Pioneers is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For more information visit www.pioneersvolunteer.org or call 1-800-976-1914.