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Cooking at camp new experience for blind/visually impaired

Trek tech camp at Greenbush

Low Vision Cooking

GREENBUSH, Ks - Summer camp at Greenbush includes canoeing and outdoor fun.  But for 16 teens who are blind or are visually impaired, this year, it’s an  adventure indoors.
    
At the campsite, they put on aprons. Then headed in pairs to the kitchen.
“This is gonna be an interesting combination,” said  
Julia Norwood who has albinism which makes her eyes light sensitive. She and Sean Sollenberger, who lost vision in one eye from a virus and has blurred vision in the other, are part of a group in the cupcake challenge. "This spatula is huge," exclaimed Julia. 

From mixers to knives, here they learn about everything in the kitchen which can be a challenge. Julia said, “I have to keep my head low my eyes close to what I’m working with. I mostly try to go slow  cause if I go too fast I might lose one of my fingers," she laughed.

Sean explained a knife lesson learned. “So,  like with cutting a hotdog, you would put your  hand on it but your fingers would be tucked away.”  

They're introduced to technology and tools like a talking thermometer and measuring cups in braille. But it’s things like using an oven they haven't usually done at home.  Midwest Low Vision Technology executive director Calvin Churchwell explained, “They've heard about it but don’t really know what it is. We've been letting them feel and touch it and actually experience it.” 
 
Besides the cooking classes, the students are taking part in the high ropes course and other  activities that help build their confidence. 

Julia said, "It's been amazing to have these  experiences I wouldn't normally  have otherwise because people say oh, you can’t see well. So you shouldn’t be in the  kitchen,  or you shouldn't, can’t do these things  outside. But here it’s a free environment. I can do whatever and not worry about it."

She's a helper to others. And making connections is a camp plus. 

Sean said, "Making friend and just getting new experiences like cooking. Last year we built cat towers with power tools. Every year we just come in, learn something new, and it really helps us in our everyday life."

Julia added, “It makes me feel really good. It makes me nervous but I  can do this. Cause I know I’m completely capable of it. It’s  a really good feeling." 

Midwest low vision technology coordinates the camp which uses donations and some state funding for the teens to attend. They'd like to expand with more donations as 41 applied this year. You can get information on Midwest’s facebook page or donate through the Alma app here

https://www.facebook.com/midwestlowvision/

https://alma.app/charities/471284931-midwest-low-vision-and-technology-center-inc


 

 

 

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