Extreme experience planned at Blue Lake

Published 12:46 am Friday, August 9, 2013

One doesn’t have to see something happening to know it’s an experience of a lifetime. Just ask those who’ve attended the Extreme Experience Retreat at Blue Lake Camp, and now is the time for the visually impaired to sign up for the next event.

“Our goal is for adults to concentrate on their individual blind skills and overcoming personal fears,” said Wanda Scroggins of the Covington County Low-Vision and Blind Outreach group, a local organization that’s teamed up with the Blue Lake Methodist Camp to offer the experience for those who are vision impaired. “ We offer many different learning experiences such as culinary classes, blind archery, swimming, hiking, technology classes, orientation and mobility, carpentry, basic blind tricks to ease frustrations, and build self esteem and independence.”

The event, which is open to the vision-impaired and their support people, will feature four days and three nights filled with activities such as motorcycle rides, fishing, canoeing, nature hiking and cookouts, as well as group counseling sessions and group discussions.

The first event was held in 2010 and brought attendees from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi and Missouri.

This year’s event will be held on Sept. 29 through Oct. 2. Cost per person is $190.

“Peer teaching is the best way to learn,” Scroggins said. “Our classes are taught by the blind; therefore, a blind person will automatically think, “Well, if they can do it, why can’t I?”

And Scroggins would know – the North Creek Community resident is legally blind. She uses the animals to help her navigate the world. Harley, a male golden retriever, is a Leader Dog for the blind. Scroggins works for Lions International as a motivational speaker for the blind and visually impaired.

“The training one gets at the retreat is priceless to the blind and low vision,” she said. “Most teaching programs that are available to adults that have loss their sight require a two-year commitment and you must live at the facility away from your family and home.”

The invitation is also open for those who are losing their sight.

For more information, contact at Scroggins 334.428.3335 or Blue Lake Camp at 334.222.5407.