TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – Thousands of school age children tour Ivy Green in Tuscumbia each year to learn more about the story of Helen Keller.
But this week, there is a group of students from across Alabama who are getting more of an experience through their visit.
On Friday, kids were getting their hands dirty by molding clay into whatever their imagination brings to them.
At first glance, it looks like any other school arts and crafts class.
“Using their imagination. To encourage them. You know, you might have a disability, but there is not anything that you cannot do,” said Sue Pilkilton with the Helen Keller Foundation.
According to Pilkilton, Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience, started as a dream of bringing children with hearing or vision impairments to Ivy Green for inspiration.
“Last night when those children arrived at Ivy Green in the buggy and then they were greeted by the cast members, it was unreal,” explained Pilkilton. “I mean, the look on their face was priceless.”
For three days, the campers learn about the life of Helen Keller while they create crafts, tour the grounds of Ivy Green, and build lasting bonds with other kids who understand their challenges.
“She loved children; she loved animals,” stated Pilkilton. “So we just thought this was just very fitting to say Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience.”
Pilkilton said they plan to double next year’s class, and hope to include students from other states and eventually other nations.
Organizers say thanks to the generosity of many private contributors, all expenses are paid for the students and their families to participate in Camp Courage.