Spots available for Extreme Experience 2018

Published 1:13 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

What started out as a way to teach herself to do day-to-day things, has turned into the Extreme Experience Retreat, Wanda Scroggins’ passion project that helps lower vision and blind people gain confidence in themselves.

“When I lost my sight, I noticed that there was nobody in our area that helped lower vision people,” Scroggins said. “There was an extreme need for experts in this field so I decided to get my education in the field and now it has become my passion.”

Scroggins said that EER is at its lowest registration number ever this year.

“I haven’t been able to talk about it much because I had a knee replacement,” Scroggins said. “But if I could just reach the people in our county then maybe I can help some people.”

Scroggins said that 1 out of 3 people over 60 have vision issues, and most of them are from diabetes.

“Diabetes is a real issue in people that lose their vision,” Scroggins said. “Because it usually goes for the eyes first.”

Her favorite part of the retreat is seeing the participants’ attitude change throughout the retreat.

“They change from somebody who has no self esteem, then two to three hours later they start to blossom,” Scroggins said. “Then they feel like they can conquer the world.”

Scroggins hopes that people who go to the retreat will walk away with a feeling of hope.

“I want them to be hopeful and encouraged when they leave the retreat,” Scroggins said. “A while ago I used to use the phrase, ‘I used to’ a lot. For example, ‘I used to do this,’ or ‘I used to do things like that,’ but once I started getting away from that mindset I could do so much more. A lot of the people that come to the retreat usually come in saying, ‘Why me?’ but they need to change their mindset to, ‘Why not me!’”

Participants will go through an orientation on Wed., Sep. 26, where they will participate in outdoor activities and then will start the intensive training on Thu., Sep. 27. The entire retreat will last until Sat., Sep. 29.

During the intensive, participants will learn day-to-day tasks such as cooking, cleaning, ironing and learn about safety.

“We will also have grief counseling available for people who have lost their eyesight,” Scroggins said. “And we will have the officers from the sheriff’s department out there as well to talk about safety.”

This year’s theme for EER is Superheroes.

“I wanted this year’s theme to be Superheroes because I believe that anybody who can break through this problem is qualified as a superhero,” Scroggins said. “It takes an extraordinary person to pull through this crisis and turn it into a miracle.”

The entire retreat will cost $250 and will include lodging, meals, classes and entertainment.

“If someone wants to only come to a one day class or one session then the cost is $40,” Scroggins said. “We don’t make a penny off of any of the money, all of the money goes directly to the lodging, food and entertainment. We are all on a strictly volunteer basis here.”

Scroggins said that the time to register is now, because she will have to put in orders for food and lodging, no later than September 15.

The camp is located at Blue Lake Camps, 8500 Oakwood Lane, Andalusia.

The Covington County Lower Vision Support Group will also resume meetings starting September 13, at the Andalusia Public Library.

For anyone interested in attending or interested in getting more information, call 334-428-3335.