60+ signed up for annual blind retreat

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Some 62 visually impaired people are traveling from all across the Southeast to take part in this weekend’s Extreme Experience Retreat.

The event, held at Blue Lake Methodist Camp, is in its seventh year.

Organizer Wanda Sasser-Scroggins said the numbers are down this year, but that they always have late registrations and walk-ins.

I’ve been on the phone like crazy,” she said. “So, we’ll have possibly more. Last year, we had 89 registered and then with walk-ins, we wound up with 150 people.”

She said people are coming from Baton Rouge, La., Greenville, S.C., Johnson City, Tenn., Florida, Birmingham.

“We are excited,” she said. “This is our seventh year, and we have people coming from far away.”

Friday night, Sasser-Scroggins said they will stay at Blue Lake’s Dogwood cabin.

On Saturday, Crosspoint Methodist Church will take participants deep sea fishing.

“Then we will come back and any fish we catch, Blue Lake staff is going to cook for us,” she said.

On Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., outdoor activities including archery and Beeper-Ball will begin, she said.

Sunday evening there will be a barbecue, campfire and hayride.

Monday’s activities will focus on helping visually impaired people with independent living skills.

“We basically teach people how to be blind,” Sasser-Scroggins said. “We will be issuing out white canes and teaching proper usage and things like that.”

That afternoon, there will be more outdoor activities, and the night will feature a Thanksgiving feast and a talent show.

“A lot of people don’t have family, so the Thanksgiving feast is so important,” she said. “The talent show is usually just awesome. We usually have some really talented people who attend.”

Tuesday is text and talk day.

“Everybody will have their gadgets,” she said. “We will talk about different ways to use them for their benefits.”

Additionally, Sally Baker, who created a universal code for color, will have some masterpieces from renowned artists such as Van Gogh, for the visually impaired to be able to feel how they look.

“She has them done in tactful material,” Sasser-Scroggins said. “You can feel the masterpieces and the art exhibit it going to be on display at Blue Lake.”

Tuesday night will feature a gala and awards night.

Anyone who has not signed up, but is interested in attending,

“They just have to hurry,” she said. “We have to assign rooms.”

To sign up or for more information, call 428-3335.