By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The NewView Tulsa OWL (Oklahomans Without Limits) Camp, Oklahoma’s free summer camp for teens 15 – 18 who are blind or visually impaired, is scheduled for July 19 – 22. The camp will be held at the Owl’s Nest at Lake Tenkiller (19724 W. Cookson Bend Road) in Cookson, OK. .
Owl Camp is designed to encourage collaboration, improve confidence, self-esteem, and independence, and challenge societal and self-imposed limits through a variety of indoor and outdoor activities.
Last January, The City Sentinel reported that Globe Life donated their 3-acre waterfront corporate meeting facility, valued at $1.8 million, to host NewView’s Owl Camps. The donation was one of the most significant gifts in the history of Globe Life.
“We became aware of NewView’s mission to serve sight-impaired children through various summer camps at lakes throughout Oklahoma, and the donation of the Globe Life property at Lake Tenkiller seemed like a perfect fit,” said Bill Leavell, Globe Life Direct Response President and CEO.
“We believe the property will be a terrific venue for NewView’s programs,” Leavell added. “We can think of no better organization to use the facility to support Oklahoma children.”
OWL Camp is structured specifically to engage sighted children and those with vision loss. Each blind or visually impaired camper is partnered with a sighted buddy for the entire week, and they do everything together. The goal is to provide lasting effects by allowing the sighted buddies to understand that people with vision loss can do anything they can do, with very little adaption.
“This facility allows us to further enhance the unique experience OWL Camp offers to our clients and volunteers,” said NewView President and CEO Lauren Branch. “We look forward to using this facility for many years to come and know the impact will be great.”
Along with sighted “buddies,” campers will have the opportunity to enjoy the property’s many amenities, which include a tennis court, putting green and two boats for activities such as water skiing and water tubing.
“Our hope is that the sighted buddies will go back to their peers and share their experience to help eliminate the stigma that is too often associated with kids and disabilities,” Branch said.
NewView Oklahoma is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1949 with a mission to empower people who are blind and visually impaired to achieve their maximum level of independence through employment, low vision rehabilitation, and community outreach.
NewView Owl Camps are made possible in part by grants and through public donations. Give online to support these programs. To learn more about NewView’s OWL Camp and other programs and clinical services, visit NewViewOklahoma.org or call 405-232-4644.
On Tuesday, August 27, the public is invited to attend the Open House celebration of NewView’s Oklahoma Center for Low Vision and Blindness, located at 4301 N. Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City. A ribbon cutting will take place at 4 p.m., with come and go tours of the facility from 4:30 – 7 p.m.
NewView OWL Camps are made possible in part by grants and through public donations. Give online to support these programs.