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Camp for kids with visual impairment teaches independence through fun

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OKLAHOMA CITY - There are 28 kids who are at the OWL camp in Oklahoma City where they get to experience different activities all week long, including at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.  They were able to create their own artwork using very tactile textures.

It was an experience more than two dozen children, who are visually impaired or blind, have never experienced before.

"I've gone to six camps this summer and this is the one I look forward to the most, and it's just something you'll never forget,” Kaylee Ragon, 15, said.

She went to OWL camp in Tulsa three weeks ago. Now, she's back in Oklahoma City as a volunteer, or buddy, or a younger camper.

"I didn't think I was ready to quite take care of myself and a buddy, but honestly it's the strongest bond you'll ever get is with that camper because you're with them 24/7," she said.

The name of the camp stands for Oklahomans Without Limits and it's the main point behind the 18-year tradition started by NewView Oklahoma.

"Not just the kids, but get the parents thinking that these kids can really do whatever they want to do, so putting them in a camp environment, exposing them to different experiences, really starts to get them thinking that their life can be broader than what they think it could be,” Lauren Branch, CEO NewView Oklahoma, said.

Experiences like bowling, swimming, drawing , and also life skills.

"OWL camp has helped me be a little bit brave to talk to other people, help me make more friendships,” Elbin Carrillo, a 14-year-old camper said.

Many of these children have degenerative conditions that will get worse, so learning to be independent as they continue to lose sight is important.

"We've got a lot of kids who have been told all of their lives that they can't do things and so when they come here and they get to experience things they've been told they can't do it's very very exciting for them,” Branch said.

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