By Penny Watkins
One of the amazing accomplishments of North Carolina Lions Clubs is Camp Dogwood for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Sherrills Ford, North Carolina. The word “camp” doesn’t do this amazing destination justice. This one-of-a-kind resort hosts 10 one-week summer sessions for campers each summer. Why is Camp Dogwood so special? It was founded in 1967 as a therapeutic retreat where people who are blind and visually impaired can enjoy a week of resort-style accommodations in a rustic spot on a quiet cove on Lake Norman.
The overall atmosphere is safe as well as exciting because when campers arrive, the quiet disappears. Activities include boating, fishing, swimming, tubing, arts and crafts, putt-putt golf, and off-campus trips to museums and zoos as well as shopping trips and bowling. The campus includes a sensory garden and nature trail complete with guide roping.
For those who want a little quiet time, each living area has a screened in porch with rocking chairs where campers can sit a spell and share camp experiences with new friends. The lake-front porch at the Lodge affords an opportunity to rock an afternoon away while watching and listening to campers on the beach, as well as those boating and tubing.
The staff to camper ratio is 1:6, and Lions from across the state volunteer as guides to ensure blind and visually impaired campers the best experience ever. If campers need assistance with self-care, they must bring a caregiver with them. Self-care independent campers can bring a sighted companion with them. In fact, many couples use a week at Camp Dogwood as their summer vacation destination.
So what are you waiting for? The cost is reasonable. For those who need financial assistance, local North Carolina Lions Clubs are available to help. What an opportunity for North Carolina residents who are blind or visually impaired!
For further information, visit the camp website www.nclionscampdogwood.org or call 800-662-7401 ext. 230. Visit the camp Facebook page, Camp Dogwood for the Blind and Visually Impaired.