Thanks to all our athletes, families, coaches, staff, and donors who made Camp Abilities PA @ WCU 2013 an incredible success.
ABOUT CAMP ABILITIES PA @ WCU
Camp Abilities PA @ WCU is a developmental sports camp for children ages 7-17 who are blind or have low vision. The camp is located in West Chester, PA on the West Chester University campus. Held annually over Memorial Day weekend, this overnight camp experience introduces children to a variety of sports, including triathlon, goalball, swimming, beep baseball, track and field, tandem biking, team building, dance, and adventure-based activities. The purpose of the camp is to empower children to be physically active, improve their overall health and wellness, encourage them to make food choices that support an active lifestyle, and develop their confidence and self-esteem through sport and physical activity. Children receive one-on-one instruction during all physical activities and events.
Camp Abilities PA @ WCU strives to empower children who are blind or have low vision, through sports and nutrition education, to be dynamic members of their schools, communities, and society in general. Studies consistently show that children who are blind or have low vision have lower levels of health-related physical fitness than their peers, and Camp Abilities PA @ WCU plays a vital role in reinforcing each child’s self-esteem and confidence in his or her ability to master specific sports, physical education, and social activities.
Camp Abilities PA @ WCU is also an opportunity for West Chester University Health and Physical Education students to learn how to teach sports and recreational activities to children who are blind or have low vision.
The camp coaches are pooled from the West Chester University Adapted Physical Education Undergraduate program. Coaches instruct camp activities using adapted sport teaching strategies and apply concepts they have learned in collegiate classes to motivate and encourage the athletes. All Camp Abilities PA @ WCU coaches have taken classes in Adapted Physical Education and attended an orientation run by head visual impairment professionals, Camp Abilities coaches, nurses, and camp staff members.
HISTORY AND THE CAMP ABILITIES MODEL
In 1996, Dr. Lauren Lieberman, an alumna of West Chester University and professor in the field of Adapted Physical Education at The College at Brockport, and Dr. Monica Lepore, an Adapted Physical Education professor at West Chester University, started the first Camp Abilities at The College at Brockport. The program was specifically designed to teach and encourage children who are blind or have low vision to be physically active, and to live healthy and independent lives.