Campers get “The Helen Keller Experience”

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. -- Helen Keller changed the world. She spent her life tearing down barriers for those with disabilities. Right now, a camp is underway at Keller’s birthplace which is continuing her work. Two dozen children from across the southeast have gathered, and all share one thing - a disability.

“Talking to other kids who have been through what I have been through, that helps me get courage. Because, that’s the main theme of this camp is to give you courage,” explained Riverton Fifth Grader and Camp Courage attendee Ian Oliver.

Camp Courage, The Helen Keller Experience, is in it’s fifth year. It brings children together, showing them there is nothing out of their reach.

Education students from the University of North Alabama come to assist. They likely get just as much from the camp as the campers themselves.

“It’s definitely inspiring to see how they just take it and they run with it. They’re not worried about if they mess up or anything. This is a safe zone, and I think that’s the biggest thing we try to promote,” described UNA Education Student Dustin Phillips.

The kids have studied extensively about Helen Keller; which makes Ivy Green a special place for them. They understand this is where Helen began her mission.

“There’s not actually a word that can describe it. It’s like happy and then at the same time excited,” said Oliver.

Here speech, hearing, or vision impairments do not matter. They get to bond with others who face the same challenges in life, and they all gain the courage to face the world.

A luau is planned for Friday evening for the campers. Activities on Saturday include fishing and a banquet to honor all of the attendees. Camp Courage is sponsored by private donations and grants.