In Council Bluffs, youths enjoy new camp created just for them

Camp Abilities participant Alex Salgado takes his turn at bowling. Alex, who enjoyed bowling and swimming, describes himself as a "pro" at kickball.


Twenty 9- to 19-year-olds who are blind, visually impaired or deaf and blind recently enjoyed a week of swimming, bowling, roller skating, beep kickball, rock climbing, self-defense and other sports and recreational activities.

The youths attended the first Camp Abilities Nebraska, which took place at Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs.

Co-sponsors were Boys Town National Research Hospital and Outlook Nebraska Inc.

Camp Abilities Nebraska explored sports and recreational activities in a safe environment provided by University of Nebraska at Omaha and other local adaptive physical education instructors.

“Camp Abilities Nebraska is a unique and valuable adventure for students who are blind or visually impaired,” said Dr. Mary Pat Moeller, director of the Center for Childhood Deafness and Vision Disorders at Boys Town National Research Hospital.

“Our goal is always to remove barriers to access for students with special needs. Camp Abilities does this and more, as it fosters confidence, independence and healthy lifestyle choices,” she said.

Camp Abilities Nebraska gave the children a chance to experience many recreational activities for the first time.

“I am proud of myself to be a pro at kickball,” said Alex Salgado, participant at Camp Abilities Nebraska. “Swimming is pretty cool, too.”

Each evening, the youths shared their adventures with friends and camp leaders during a Care to Share activity.

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