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

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Fri Feb 21 19:54:23 UTC 2014

OUB did run a BSBP youth transition program.

And I think there is another one sponserred this year.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Amy Shepherd" <amyshepherd at mpvi.org>
To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] {Spam?} Opportunities Unlimited for the 
BlindTheBlind Planet

> OUB does not receive funding from the BSBP. In the past couple of years 
> they have had Blind students who were placed at Camp T as counselors as 
> part of the BSBP job training/placement program. Their salaries were paid 
> by the BSBP.  It is a valuable collaboration and a good opportunity for 
> Transition aged students to get on the job training and work experience 
> they need.
> Amy Shepherd
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Feb 21, 2014, at 1:58 PM, "joe harcz Comcast" <joeharcz at comcast.net> 
> wrote:
>> He is a state employee on the board of an outfit that is funded in part 
>> by BSBP
>> That is why it is relevent. It is a conflict of interest.
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "J.J. Meddaugh" <jj at bestmidi.com>
>> To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 1:44 PM
>> Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] {Spam?} Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind 
>> TheBlind Planet
>>> 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
>>>>> 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 Bli
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