camp independence

Camp Pre-registration Form

Camp Independence is a residential camp for blind and visually impaired youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Camp Indendence has been canceled for 2020 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. This will be the 15th year for Camp Independence. The camp is held at Wheeling  University, conveniently located near Interstate 70 in a low traffic residential part of Wheeling. Campers reside in a college dormitory and get a taste of living away from home and on a college campus.

Campers are given the opportunity to try and succeed at new skills in a safe, secure, and positively shared atmosphere. The only cost involved with camp is a nominal registration fee of $25 dollars. If this is a financial hardship, sponsors will be found. All transportation, food, snacks, refreshments, and admissions are paid for by the Seeing Hand Association. 

Independence is stressed while the campers participate in activities designed to develop self-esteem, educational skills, healthy exercise, and social interaction. Campers are exposed to successful blind and visually impaired adults and are encouraged to try new things. Most of our campers leave Camp Independence with the belief that they can do anything they set their mind to doing. This, we hope, leads to the empowerment of this valuable group of American citizens. 

Camp Independence is directed by a certified VI (instructor of the visually impaired). This enables the Camp Director to bring his/her professional skills to bare in a relaxed summer camp setting. An RN is with campers all week and we hope his/her skills are not needed.


The camp activities vary from year to year, but past activities have included: a day at Oglebay Park; a day at Wheeling Park; amphibian tours; amusement parks; boat rides; bowling; camp fires; Carnegie Museums; computer training; cooking; crafts; demonstration of service animals; dining out; fishing; game design and playing; ghost story tellers; going to a movie; golf; horseback riding; journaling; a day at Kennywood Amusement Park; kite flying; kayaking; nature walks; paddle boats; petting zoos; picnics; pottery; putt-putt golf; golf; scrap booking; speakers on college life; speakers on food preparation; speakers on fitness; story tellers; swimming; the Incline in Pittsburgh; toy making; tram rides; volleyball; and more! 

In addition to the skills and leadership, the opportunity to spend time with other young adults facing the same challenges may be the chance of a life time to interact with peers struggling with the turmoil of the teen years. Lifelong friendships are made and as the TV commercial teaches us, these are priceless!