[nfbmi-talk] {Spam?} Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind TheBlind Planet

J.J. Meddaugh jj at bestmidi.com
Fri Feb 21 18:44:19 UTC 2014


How is this relevant?

Best regards,
J.J.

On 2/17/2014 5:15 PM, joe harcz Comcast wrote:
> Is Essenberg and are other BSBP employees still members of the OUB Board?
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Larry Posont" 
> <president.nfb.mi at gmail.com>
> To: "nfbmi List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 4:47 PM
> Subject: [nfbmi-talk] {Spam?} Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind 
> TheBlind Planet
>
>
>> The Blind Planet
>> February 2014
>> OUB is a charitable nonprofit organization under Section 501c3. We
>> gladly accept your generous donations!
>> Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind's mission is to enrich the
>> quality of life of people who are blind and visually impaired through
>> lifelong education and recreation.
>>
>> Breaking News!
>> Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind is now partnering with four
>> organizations to provide great experiences for children, youth and
>> adults with blindness or visual impairment!  Our new camp home is
>> Indian Trails Camp in Grand Rapids, and we are working with Michigan
>> Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, the Association for the
>> Blind and Visually Impaired in Grand Rapids, and Running Blind, who is
>> sponsoring our fabulous Adventure Trip!  See inside for more details!
>>
>>
>>
>> From your Executive Director, Gwen Botting
>> Happy February, everyone!  Who knew that we were going to have record
>> weather all over the country this winter?
>> If you are having trouble coping with this season's challenges, it
>> might help to imagine our Spring and Summer events and camps, coming
>> very soon!  All of our camps in 2014 are being offered through some
>> great partnerships with Indian Trails Camp (our new camp home),
>> Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (MPVI), the
>> Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI), and Running
>> Blind.
>> Our Spring Fling will be a lovely weekend at ITC spent in nature,
>> enjoying each other and the music of our feathered friends and blind
>> and visually impaired campers!  So find your dancing shoes and come on
>> out for a great time!  Also coming soon is our Michigan Parents of
>> Children with Visual Impairments (MPVI) Family Camp weekend, where one
>> of our activities will be to install our new garden - requiring
>> woodworking as well as gardening, and we want everyone to have a
>> chance with a hammer and a shovel!  Previous experience not required!
>> We also have a completely new camp, Blindness Immersion, that is a
>> 2-week camp, or you can come to just the first week or just the second
>> - whatever fits your life and your schedule.  Blindness Immersion is
>> just that - all things blind!  Music, art, cooking, daily living
>> skills, sports, nature - everything will be offered both weeks of
>> camp.  If you are 14 or older and want to take part in the Association
>> for the Blind and Visually Impaired's Summer in the City program,
>> never fear!  We are currently working things out with ABVI so that you
>> can attend BOTH programs, and making transportation easier for your
>> family!  It's going to be an awesome opportunity!  We end the season
>> with two fantastic camps:  Survivor Art Camp, focusing on survival
>> skills at Camp Optimist and on exploring the art community in Grand
>> Rapids, and our Running Blind Adventure Camp, sponsored by Running
>> Blind, an organization dedicated to fostering athletic endeavors for
>> blind and visually impaired persons.  THIS IS GOING TO BE THE MOST
>> AWESOME ADVENTURE TRIP EVER!  Sign up soon, because, for only $200 per
>> camper, this trip is available to ONLY the first 15 campers to
>> register!
>> There is a lot coming up, and you can help and have fun by attending
>> our fundraiser, Bowling Blast!  This event will be held this coming
>> Sunday, February 16. See flyer inside for more details!  You can also
>> check out Indian Trails camp this weekend - see flyer for their Snow
>> Ball Dance!
>> Looking forward to seeing YOU at camp!
>>
>> Gwen
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Winter Bowling Blast
>> Please mark your calendars for this exciting event:
>> Sunday, February 16
>> 2:00pm
>> Park Center Lanes, 2222 28th St SW Wyoming, Michigan
>> For $20 you get to bowl three games, includes shoes, 2 slices of pizza
>> and a pop. If you are not a bowler, join us for the Silent Auction
>>  Sponsored by: Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> 2014 Camp and Event Schedule
>> Locations:  Indian Trails Camp, 1859 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand 
>> Rapids, MI
>>          Camp Optimist, 10324 Lovers Lane NW, Grand Rapids, MI
>>          Camp-in-a-Box, Beaver Island and Lake Charlevoix, MI
>> Date Event Location
>> Jan 17-19 Snow Much Fun (family event) Indian Trails
>> April 4-6 Spring Fling (family event) Indian Trails
>> May 16-18 MPVI Family Camp/Open House Indian Trails and Camp O
>> May 27- June 1 Staff Training with ITC staff ITC and Camp O
>> June 4 - 8 Specialized Staff Training for OUB staff ITC and Camp O
>> June 8 - 14 Tech Camp (Adults 18 and over) ITC and Camp O
>> June 15 - 22 Blindness Immersion (Ages 7-HS)* ITC and Camp O
>> June 22 - 28 Blindness Immersion (Ages 7-HS)* ITC and Camp O
>> June 29 -  5 ------off------no camp
>> July 6 - 12 Survivor Art Camp (Ages 12-HS)** Camp O only
>> July 13-23 Running Blind Adventure Camp (Ages 12- HS)** Beaver Is,
>> Lake Charlevoix
>> October 24-26 Harvest Festival (family event) ITC and Camp O
>> *campers may attend either or both weeks of Blindness Immersion Camp.
>> Campers do not need to return home over the weekend between the two
>> weeks of camp.
>> **participants in Survivor Art may stay with us for the Adventure Trip
>> without returning home in between camps - but they will be expected to
>> help us pack!!!
>> Join us for a great experience - fun and learning and friendships
>> all-in-one package:
>> OUB Camps!
>>
>> Camp Descriptions - Everything you want to know!*
>> *if we missed something, please call, email, or check out our website,
>> www.oubmichigan.org
>> Snow Much Fun January 17-19 - This was our first event at Indian
>> Trails Camp and it was SO MUCH FUN!  We "got lost" on a nature walk,
>> made cardboard sleds, creatures out of vegetables and gingerbread
>> houses, played games, ate s'mores and had hot chocolate, sat by the
>> fire and had a great time!  Indian Trails is a great camp for us!
>> Spring Fling April 4-6 - Don't miss this fun family event with nature
>> exploration, music, crafts, dancing, an auction and so much more!
>> Held at Indian Trails Camp.  Cost: $75 per family of 4, $20 each extra
>> person.
>> MPVI Family Camp/ Open House May 16-18 - We love Family Camp! MPVI
>> co-sponsors this camp which will give families a great opportunity to
>> explore both ITC and Camp Optimist, help put in our new garden at Camp
>> O, and just relax and have fun together, play games, do special crafts
>> designed just for you, and learn from each other. Held at ITC and Camp
>> O. Cost: $75 per family of 4, $20 each extra person.
>> Staff Training May 27-June 1 and June 4-8 - for those of you who are
>> considering applying to work as a camp counselor this summer, consider
>> working for OUB!  Staff training will be held with ITC staff May 27 -
>> June 1 and with OUB staff only from June 4-8.  Held at ITC and Camp O.
>> Tech Camp June 8 - 14 - for adults only (18 and over).  This camp is
>> for adults of any age who enjoy meeting others with blindness or
>> visual impairment, like to have fun, and want to learn more about the
>> latest in technical improvements and help with those they already own.
>> Brush up on your cooking and life skills, too!  Experts in the field
>> will lead classes, and fun activities will be planned for the
>> evenings.  All meals included. Held at ITC and Camp O.   Cost: $500
>> per person.  Hint: talk with your BSBP counselor about helping you
>> attend this camp!
>> Blindness Immersion June 15-28 (ages 7 - HS)  or June 15-21 or June
>> 22-28.  This camp includes - well - EVERYTHING!  Music, drama, art,
>> cooking, like skills, sports, field trips (even a baseball game!),
>> campfires, swimming (in a pool!), boating, singing silly songs - all
>> things blind, all the time!  Come to one week or both. SPECIAL
>> ARRANGEMENT: for those students who are 14 and over who would like to
>> attend the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired's Summer in
>> the City Program, we are currently working out details to make it
>> possible to do BOTH - OUB will provide transportation to and from this
>> great program in Grandville, and participants can then come back to
>> Indian Trails to participate in our evening and weekend activities,
>> including overnight accommodations and meals.  For more information on
>> Blindness Immersion or the Special Arrangement, please call Gwen at
>> 989-855-2430. For information about Summer in the City, contact Amy
>> Schreiner at the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired at
>> 616-458-1187 extension 332. Held at ITC and Camp O.  Cost: $1200 per
>> week or $2000 for 2-week camp.  Reduced rates based on ability to pay.
>> Scholarships available.  Blindness Immersion/Summer in the City
>> rates: $300 per week or $500 for two weeks.
>> Survivor Art Camp July 6-12 (ages 12-HS)  In this exciting reboot of
>> our wild and crazy new camp of 2013, Survivor Art Camp will be held at
>> Camp Optimist, learning survival skills, sleeping in tents,
>> participating in crazy challenges, cooking all of our own meals but
>> also taking field trips to explore and do extremely cool 3-dimensional
>> art with experienced artists in the Grand Rapids community. Held at
>> Camp O.  Cost: $1200.  Reduced rates available based on ability to
>> pay. Scholarships available.  Special Rate: for participants in
>> Survivor Art and Running Blind Adventure Camp, two-camp (2 1/2 weeks)
>> special rate is $600!  What a deal!
>> Running Blind Adventure Camp July 13-23 (ages 12-HS)  THE ADVENTURE OF
>> A LIFETIME!  5 days on Beaver Island and 5 days at Lake Charlevoix,
>> all sponsored by Running Blind!  Hop on one of our camp vans on July
>> 13 for the ferry to Beaver Island, spend 5 days there exploring and
>> camping, swimming and whatever else we can cook up, and then go back
>> to the mainland for 5 days of adventures including Fort Mackinaw, zip
>> lining, canoeing, track and field challenges, backyard barbeques and
>> even parasailing!  (That is, being lifted up on a giant kite over the
>> water behind a boat!  All events are with professional organizations
>> and are inspected and safe!)  You will NOT want to miss this! With
>> the financial and organizational support of Running Blind, we can
>> offer this camp for only $200!  Limited to first 15 participants.
>> Held at Beaver Island and Camp Whiting and various locations in NW MI
>> Lower peninsula.  Cost: $200 Special Rate: for participants in
>> Survivor Art and Running Blind Adventure Camp, two-camp (2 1/2 weeks)
>> special rate is $600!  What a deal!
>> Harvest Festival  October 24-26 It might be hard to think of the fall
>> of 2014 right now, but plan on taking part in our Harvest Festival
>> family event at ITC and Camp O.  See what our new garden produced for
>> us over the summer!  Held at ITC and Camp O.  Cost: $75 per family of
>> 4, $20 each extra person.
>>
>> Pricing our camps - why so many options?
>> We are trying a new pricing structure this summer.  $1200 per week
>> might sound like a lot, but we run small camps with a lot of staff to
>> get a nearly one-to-one ratio of campers to staff.  We find our kids
>> learn best this way.  We also have to pay a little more to hold camps
>> at Indian Trails than in our previous location.  $1200 is what it
>> actually costs us to produce camps for your kids.  We know that, for
>> some families, paying $1200 may be what they can choose to do. But
>> for most, that much is out of the question.  So we are offering a $600
>> half price option, and we are offering that rate for those of you who
>> get scholarships from the State of Michigan Department of Education
>> Trust Fund.  That will allow you who qualify for those scholarships to
>> come to at least two camps for free.  For those who DO NOT qualify for
>> MDE-LIO scholarships, but cannot afford $600, we have a third option.
>> We will accept $200 from you, but we ask that you try to get
>> scholarship money from other sources to make up the difference. All
>> you have to do is write letters to local service organizations in your
>> area, and send me a copy to show me that you asked for assistance.  A
>> sample letter is included in this newsletter!  BUT HERE'S THE CATCH!!!
>> A lot of service groups like Lions Clubs don't meet in the summer!  If
>> you plan to ask for scholarship assistance, you need to do it NOW!
>> Better yet, ask your child to help you with the letter, so that they
>> begin to understand the process of politely asking for help from
>> groups that like to help others.  It always helps if you are willing
>> to share your child's story with the group you are asking for funds
>> from.  DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!
>> SPECIAL DEAL #1: Partnerships are allowing us to offer some camps for
>> extraordinarily low rates!  If you live in the Grand Rapids Area and
>> your child is 14 or older, you may have heard of the STEPS program
>> offered by the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the
>> Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, or their two-week (Monday
>> through Thursday) summer program called Summer in the City. This
>> program offers lots of experiences with cooking, managing money,
>> taking public transportation and other important skills under the
>> watchful eye of Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists and
>> Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists.  This is a really great
>> program with a terrific track record.  The only problem is, for some
>> families, that parents often have to provide transportation both to
>> and from this program 4 days a week for two weeks.  HERE'S THE SPECIAL
>> DEAL:  Your blind or visually impaired teenager can come to Blindness
>> Immersion Camp at Indian Trails AND to Summer in the City.  Your
>> student can stay with us overnight, have breakfast at Indian Trails,
>> then we will provide transportation to the SITC program, pick them up
>> in the afternoon, and they can stay with us and participate in all of
>> our evening activities.  They can also stay THROUGH THE WEEKEND, June
>> 20-22.  The cost is only $300 for one week or $500 if participating in
>> both weeks.  WE hope you like this new option that will help more kids
>> participate in both SITC and OUB CAMPS!
>> SPECIAL DEAL #2:  Running Blind, and organization dedicated to
>> fostering athletic endeavors with people who are blind or visually
>> impaired, is sponsoring our RUNNING BLIND ADVENTURE TRIP.  This is a
>> totally awesome combination - our great staff and programming ideas
>> partnered with Hal Wolf and his ability to organize and fund events
>> that he is passionate about.  Entirely due to this passion and
>> generosity, the cost to any camper attending this 11-day camp is only
>> $200.  Again, DO NOT DELAY.  Open only to the first 15 registrants!
>> This camp will fill fast!
>> SPECIAL DEAL #3: For those of you 12 and older who are REALLY into
>> Adventure, you can attend BOTH Survivor Art Camp AND the Running Blind
>> Adventure Camp for one low price of $600!  You can stay with OUB staff
>> for the entire 2 1/2 weeks, but you can also expect to be asked to help
>> us pack and unpack between camps!  Call Gwen Botting at 989-855-2430
>> for more information on any of our camps or financial arrangements,
>> help with scholarships or letters to community organizations.
>>
>> How to ask for camp scholarships from your community!
>> Looking for more ways to get scholarship money to attend camp? When
>> parents, and sometimes kids, look at websites and try to find a camp
>> to go to in the summer, COST is often the deciding factor.  Most
>> people don't realize that is isn't hard to ask community organizations
>> for financial help to go to the camp of your choice - and your dreams!
>> Send your request to several organizations.
>> Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach Funds
>> MDE-LIO has been the source of scholarships for camps, parent events
>> and other activities for children whose families receive Bridge Cards
>> or who qualify for free or reduced lunch.  You can easily find the
>> application for these scholarships on the MDE-LIO website under
>> Scholarships.  You can also call the Low Incidence Outreach office for
>> assistance.  You can e-mail Ann Langley at langleyA at michigan.gov.  The
>> phone number to reach them is: 1-888-760-2206.
>> Letter of Inquiry
>> A letter of inquiry is written to someone who may have funds to help
>> you attend OUB events and summer camps.  The first place to start is
>> your local Lions Club.  Their primary mission is to serve people in
>> need, but early in their history Helen Keller encouraged them to be
>> the "Knights for the Blind".
>> Other philanthropic organizations that might be willing to help you are:
>> Your church or house of worship
>> Knights of Columbus
>> Kiwanis
>> Rotary
>> Optimist Clubs
>> Banks (banks have Community Reinvestment Act funds that they must
>> disperse every year, so it helps if you mention CRA Funds)
>> Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
>> There may be other philanthropic organizations in your area.
>> You can find all Lions Club in Michigan on this website:
>> http://lions.silverthorn.biz/state/clinks.html
>> You can find all the banks in Michigan on this website:
>> http://www.thelocalbanker.com/michigan_banks.html
>>
>> Here is how to start your letter:
>>
>> Date
>>
>> Name of the person you are writing to, if you know someone, or have a
>> name to send your letter to
>> Company, organization or bank name
>> Address
>> Address
>>
>> Dear Sir or Madam (or the person's name, if you have one),
>>
>> My name is______________, and I am a blind (or visually impaired)
>> student at ____________School.   I am working hard at school to learn
>> the special skills I need to be an adult in the world today, but it's
>> hard to get the time I need to learn everything, like cooking and how
>> to organize my things.  I also need time with others who are like me.
>> There is a special camp in Grand Rapids, Michigan that can help me and
>> others who are blind or visually impaired.  It's called Opportunities
>> Unlimited for the Blind.  They offer some really great events and
>> camps during the summer, when I have more time to spend on learning
>> how to do things as a blind person.  They have a lot of staff persons
>> there who are also blind or visually impaired, and that helps me feel
>> like I can learn new things and be successful.
>> I would really like to attend ________________________________camp
>> this summer, but it costs a lot of money to go to this camp. The
>> price is_______________.  My family (can or cannot) help pay for this,
>> but they cannot pay for all of it.  My family can pay_______________.
>> Attending camp at Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind is really
>> important to me, and it will help me be successful in the future.
>> Please help me go to camp.  I would be happy to come to a meeting of
>> your organization to talk about my camp experience and what I learned.
>> For more information about OUB CAMPS, please look at the website,
>> www.oubmichigan.org, or call Gwen Botting, Executive Director, at
>> 989-855-2430.  You can contact me at:
>>
>> Your name
>> Your address
>> Your phone
>> Your email
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Your name
>>
>> Good Luck!
>>
>> OUB Board and Staff Members Available for Presentations
>> We are so excited about our upcoming camp season, we want to share
>> what we are doing with everyone!  OUB Board Members and Staff are
>> available to do presentations for business organizations, community
>> groups, civic or service organizations, Scout meetings, church
>> education programs, teen groups or any other group you can think of.
>> We can focus on our mission or on topics such as disability awareness.
>> Please contact Gwen Botting, OUB Executive Director at 989-855-2430
>> or gwen at oubmichigan.org to make an appointment or for more
>> information.
>>
>> Frequently Asked Question:  What is Indian Trails Camp Like?
>> Indian Trails is our new location for most of our events.  Yes, we
>> loved Camp Tuhsmeheta, but the time had come for a change, and Indian
>> Trails wanted to work with us to form a new kind of partnership!  ITC
>> is a 15-acre camp located within Aman Park, a Grand Rapids City Park.
>> The Park is quite big and is mostly wilderness, with several different
>> kinds of terrain, including ravines and a creek running at the bottom
>> and miles of trails for us to explore, local history, and more. ITC
>> has a small lake for boating and fishing and an indoor pool.  We will
>> be sharing space during most of our camps with their camps for
>> children and/or adults with other disabilities.  Everything at ITC is
>> wheelchair accessible, including the sliding doors on the dining room
>> - as Gala, Ozzie's guide dog, discovered gave her instant access to
>> the great outdoors!  They have cabins that sleep 12 each, a large
>> dining hall with an attached rec room/program area, a screened in
>> porch for plays and other stage events, and several smaller buildings
>> that have other purposes.
>> ITC has another camp that they operate that is about 3 miles away
>> called Camp Optimist.  This camp has a lodge with a large open kitchen
>> that is perfect for group cooking classes, an outdoor pool, a craft
>> building, recreation field, campfire ring/amphitheater, and more.
>> This camp does NOT have cabins at the present time, but showers and
>> restrooms are available there in the lodge and the pool building.
>> What they do have is 120 acres of natural area with widely variant
>> ecosystems ripe for exploring.  This is where we will be establishing
>> our camp garden and where we will be holding Survivor Art Camp - more
>> on that in this newsletter!
>> The staff at ITC are great and they want us to have a great
>> experience.  We are looking forward to this remarkable sharing of
>> resources that will benefit all!
>> Tips
>> By Osman Koroma
>>
>> Conversing with Others
>> You may find that others are at first uncertain about how to speak
>> with you. They may address their comments to your sighted companions
>> rather than speak directly to you. Or they may speak more loudly that
>> usual. Let them know that if they wish to get your attention, they
>> should simply address you by name.
>>
>> If you would like to share tips or want us to put your news in our
>> newsletter or write a story for our newsletter please e-mail Osman
>> Koroma: osman at oubmichigan.org
>>
>>
>> Microsoft Announces Scholarship for Students with Disabilities
>> Microsoft is pleased to announce the launch of the Microsoft
>> DisAbility Scholarship intended to empower and enable high school
>> students with disabilities to (a) go to college, (b) realize the
>> impact technology has on the world, and (c) target a career in the
>> technology industry.
>> The scholarship launched Friday, January 17, 2014 and includes a goal
>> to increase enrollment of persons living with a disability in higher
>> education and, in the long term, decrease the unemployment bias for
>> disabled persons.
>> This new program was started by, and is supported by, Microsoft
>> employees who will select promising high school seniors who require
>> financial assistance in order to enter and successfully complete a
>> vocational or academic college program.  This non-renewable $5000
>> scholarship will be paid to the recipient's Financial Aid Office by
>> the Seattle Foundation on behalf of the DisAbility Employee Resource
>> Group (ERG) at Microsoft.
>> Eligibility
>> All candidates must be high school students living with a disability
>> who plan to attend a 2 to 4 year University or College program,
>> maintain a cumulative 3.0 CPA or equivalent and have declared a major
>> from the approved list (see scholarship guidelines on application).
>> Requirements
>> To apply for the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship, the student must
>> meet the following guidelines:
>> 1.     Be a current high school senior with living with a disability
>> (as defined by WHO), whether that be visual, hearing, mobility,
>> cognitive or speech.
>> 2.     Plan to attend an undergraduate program in a 2 or 4-year
>> University/College or Technical College in the fall of the academic
>> year following high-school graduation.  Schools must be in the USA or
>> have a USA-Affiliate for financial transactions (contact Seattle
>> Foundation to verify non-USA school's eligibility).
>> 3.     Declare a major in engineering, computer science, computer
>> information systems, legal or in business that are approved (i.e.
>> paralegal, pre-law, finance, business administration, or marketing).
>> 4.     Demonstrate a passion for technology.
>> 5.     Demonstrate leadership at school and/or in the community.
>> 6.     Have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
>> 7.     Require financial assistance to attend college.
>> 8.     Enrollment status must be full-time or half time
>> Contact:
>> DisAbility Employee Resource Group
>> Microsoft Corporation
>> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/programs/microsoftdisabilityscholarship.aspx 
>>
>> Email: Disability Scholarship Fund
>>
>> Now Available on Blindscience.org:   Blindmath Gems
>>
>> For almost 10 years, the NFB has maintained the Blindmath listserve, a
>> lively exchange of worldwide postings on all topics mathematical. The
>> Blindmath archives are now ginormous.  For math tools or to join the
>> list or  learn more go to this website
>> www.blindscience.org/blindmath-gems-home.
>>
>> New Show Features Blind Dad
>> A new TV show will be starting in February about a family whose two
>> children are dealing with the divorce of their parents, like many
>> families. However, Dad is blind with a guide dog. It's based on true
>> happenings of the executive producer, growing up with his blind
>> father. It is humorous and heatfelt. They are using a lot of "creative
>> license"...because it's for TV - so don't take it too seriously. Lorri
>> Bernson from Guide Dogs of America is a consultant for the program on
>> blindness issues - but not dog guide use.
>> The show will premiere after the Olympics Closing Ceremony on Sunday,
>> February 23rd at 10:30pm (ET/PT) and then in its regular slot on
>> Tuesdays (beginning February 25th) at 9:30pm (ET/PT) on NBC.
>>
>> New Website!
>> In case you missed it, we have a new website and new email addresses:
>> www.oubmichigan.org, gwen at oubmichigan.org, melinda at oubmichigan.org and
>> osman at oubmichigan.org.
>>
>> Indian Trails Camp
>> invites you to join our respite campers in attending our winter
>> Snow Ball Dance
>> Saturday, February 15, 2014
>> From 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the
>> Indian Trails Camp Lodge
>> Dancing, Games, and Snacks
>> Please RSVP to Amy DeMott at 616.677.5251 or
>> email info at indiantrailscamp.org.
>>
>>
>> * Individuals needing support are required to have a person 
>> accompanying them.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Looking for GREAT EMPLOYEES!
>> OUB is looking for great employees to join its summer staff at our new
>> location at Indian Trails Camp, only a few miles from the Allendale
>> campus of Grand Valley State University.  OUB hires young adults who
>> are totally blind, visually impaired or sighted.  If you or someone
>> you know is looking for a job experience that will be exciting and
>> fulfilling, check out our website, www.oubmichigan.org, soon for an
>> application.  Applications are expected to be available before the end
>> of 2013.  Don't miss out - apply today!
>>
>> OUB Board Meetings
>> The Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Board meets, generally, on
>> the 4th Monday of each month by conference call, and once or twice per
>> year in person in an all day retreat.  There is opportunity for public
>> comment at each of these meetings.  For more information about OUB
>> Board meetings, please contact Board Chair Casey Dutmer at
>> casey354 at comcast.net.  We are currently looking for people who are
>> interested in what OUB does and want to be part of the great work we
>> do.  If you are interested in board membership, please contact Casey.
>>
>> OUB Youth Advisory Council - and thank you, Austin and MPVI!
>> OUB recently began a Youth Advisory Council made up of 7 teens and
>> young adults who love our camps!  Austin Shepherd, Yang Heppe, Kristen
>> Kellen, Leah Richter, Taylor Arndt, Dustin Pogue and Emmie Lo have
>> been busy thinking up cool new events, challenges and fund raisers!
>> Austin Shepherd came up with the idea to hold a live auction of
>> donated items at MPVI's Challenge Mountain Weekend in January.
>> Austin's mom, Amy, publicized the event and asked families to bring
>> items to auction.  Austin was fabulous as the auctioneer, using his
>> "radio announcer voice"!  Families were very generous, and all of the
>> money collected was given to OUB for camp scholarships!  Well done,
>> Austin!
>>
>> Thanks to our supporters!
>> Our list of financial supporters continues to grow!  Here are some of
>> the highlights:
>> Kalamazoo Community Foundation
>> Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
>> Greenville Community Foundation
>> Running Blind
>> Grand Rapids Community Foundation
>> Visually Impaired Persons for Progress
>> Many Lions Clubs from all over the state!
>> Anonymous (private donors - over $1000 so far!)
>>
>> The Braille Monster
>> We are very sorry to report that the Braille Monster, also known as
>> the nefarious, Theodous Drosophilus Mysterious, has EATEN this month's
>> story, and he did it in a particularly ingenious way! Apparently,
>> from all the evidence we have been able to gather, the Braille Monster
>> entered Ozzie's house in the dead of night through a mouse hole,
>> walked right under Gala's ear, and took a snowball (which was, we are
>> thinking, close to zero degrees due to the FRIGHTFULLY COLD weather we
>> have been having), and stuck the snowball in Ozzie ear!  Of course,
>> Ozzie woke up and was pretty, well, shall we say, in shock, and while
>> Ozzie was concerned about how in the world a zero degree snowball
>> ended up in his ear, the nefarious Braille Monster calmly made his way
>> to Ozzie's computer, found the thumbdrive on which all the Braille
>> Monster stories are stored, and ATE IT.  How do we know all this took
>> place?  Well, there was a line of very tiny snowy footprints from the
>> mousehole to where Gala was sleeping, and one of her ears - and this
>> is very, very odd - was standing straight up for almost three days.
>> Now Gala is a Labrador, and Labs don't have ears that stand up, and
>> she was thoroughly  embarrassed - but there was nothing that Gala,
>> Ozzie or anyone else could do about it.  Her ear was just sticking up
>> like a German Shepherd's!  And how do we know the Braille Monster ATE
>> the thumbdrive?  Well, you see, that was the only thumbdrive that
>> Ozzie had that he had typed in BRAILLE, and we all know how the
>> Braille Monster LOVES Braille.  Ozzie thought it would be safe since
>> it was electronic Braille, but no, apparently the Braille Monster has
>> discovered a love of all things Braille!  But this just might be his
>> undoing.........stay tuned for the next installment of The Braille 
>> Monster!
>>
>> ANNOUNCING WMU/MBAA
>> SPORTS EDUCATION CAMPS for Students with VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS 2014!
>>
>> Location: Campus of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
>>
>> Eligibility: Applicants must have visual impairments of 20/70 or 
>> greater.
>> Students with mild secondary disabilities will also be considered. 
>> However,
>> the SEC attempts to fill a niche between the services offered by the 
>> public
>> schools and those of Special Olympics.  As such, students whose 
>> cognitive
>> disabilities, cognitive delays, or developmental disabilities are
>> sufficiently severe as to require technical expertise should be 
>> referred to
>> Special Olympics.  Additionally, those whose physical or sensory
>> disabilities are severe enough to require specific technical 
>> expertise will
>> be considered only if support staff from the local ISD or another local
>> agency can assist at Camp.  If clarification of this statement is 
>> needed,
>> either contact us in one of the ways listed below or complete the
>> application and describe the student's need for technical expertise 
>> and we
>> will contact you.
>>
>> Age:    Junior Camp:  9-12 years
>> Senior Camp:  13-17 years
>> Michigan State Games:  age 13-19 years old who have previously
>> attended Senior Camp and
>> are still in high school.
>>
>>
>> Dates:    Junior Camp:  Sunday, May 4th to Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
>> Senior Camp:  Wednesday, May 7th to Saturday, May 10th, 2014
>> Michigan State Games:  Friday, May 9th to Saturday, May 10th, 2014
>>
>> Application Deadline: Applications are needed by March 1, 2014,
>> for all athletes who wish to attend the Junior Camp, Senior Camp, or the
>> Michigan State Games.
>>
>> Dear vision teacher/parent/professional:
>> We are sending this notice to you in the hope that you will 
>> distribute it to
>> the parents and students within your area.  You are the only link to
>> students, since privacy laws forbid the Department of Education from
>> distributing mailing lists.
>> We would like to notify you of three major events occurring during 
>> the week
>> of May 4th to May 10th, 2014, which will be of interest to students with
>> visual impairments.  The first event is the Junior Camp, a series of 
>> clinics
>> designed to teach younger students fundamental athletic skills. The 
>> second
>> event is the Senior Camp, a series of clinics designed to teach 
>> middle and
>> senior high school students intermediate athletic skills. The final 
>> event is
>> the Michigan State Games, which offers an opportunity for students to
>> compete as individuals and on teams.
>> The camps are designed to introduce students with visual impairments to
>> sports and recreational activities and to provide continued training to
>> those demonstrating athletic potential.  Typical Junior Camp activities
>> include: introductory running, throwing, jumping, kicking, swimming,
>> and gymnastics, and wrestling, rock climbing wall, judo, and goalball.
>> Senior Camp
>> activities will likely include: track and field (athletics), swimming,
>> wrestling, goalball, tandem cycling, ERG rowing, weight training, 
>> rock climbing
>> wall, and judo.
>> Athletes who attend these Camps have the unique opportunity to 
>> interact with
>> others who have the same difficulties in physical education as they do.
>> However, applicants need to understand that the primary focus of 
>> these camps
>> is sports education.  As such, it requires nearly nonstop active
>> participation, and is designed specifically for those who show 
>> interest in
>> physical activities.
>> Unfortunately, we cannot accept all who apply to the Wednesday thru 
>> Friday
>> clinic part of Senior Sports Camp.  Virtually all new applicants are
>> accepted, but a few returnees may not be, due to limited slots 
>> available.
>> However, they will, along with everyone, who participates in Senior 
>> Camp, be
>> invited to compete in the Michigan State Games on Friday and Saturday.
>> Because we are limited to 60 athletes who can attend camp, it will be
>> necessary to take applications, review them, and determine which camp a
>> student will be invited to attend.  The following applicants will be 
>> given
>> priority in this process:  (a) those with the most severely limited 
>> vision,
>> (b) those in the age group 10-16, (c) those whose applications 
>> indicate a
>> strong desire to participate in sports, (d) those who have attended 
>> previous
>> camps and demonstrated interest and sports potential, and (e) 1st time
>> applicants.
>> Please complete the application that can be found at
>> https://mbaa-mi.com/Sports_Camp_HNNF.html we appreciate your time and
>> effort.  If
>> you have any questions please contact Scott or Leanne Ford at
>> michigansec at gmail.com or 231-715-1732.
>>
>> **Applications must be received by March 1, 2014.  Athletes
>> will be notified of acceptance by the end of March. **
>>
>>
>>
>> About this newsletter
>> Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletters! You
>> can join by going to:
>> http://oubmichigan.org/mailman/listinfo/info_oubmichigan.org
>> If you have any questions about OUB or have question about blindness,
>> you can post your question on this list and someone in the OUB family
>> will answer it! Please join our family today!
>> The Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Newsletter is published 8
>> times per year and is co-edited by Gwen Botting, Osman Koroma and
>> Melinda Latham.
>>
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