No sight required: Summer camp spurs blind youth to outdoor adventure

When Sam Chandler heard that the summer camp he’d been attending for years planned to launch an adventure camp, he was sold. Chandler — who at 17 is a rising senior at Tuscola High School in Waynesville — was quick to sign up for the week of ziplining, hiking and whitewater rafting at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. He came back for a second year, and, when he’d maxed out the two-year cap on adventure camp attendance, returned this year as a counselor.

It would be a common story of summer camp memories and corresponding summer camp allegiance, but for one simple fact: Chandler, like the rest of the teens embarking on these outdoor excursions, is mostly blind. 

Out of school and into the pool

Since 2001 the Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club has been geared toward having a nationally recognized aquatics program that develops and trains swimmers of all ages and abilities.

Learn to paddle at NOC youth camp

For 15 years Nantahala Outdoor Center instructors have been teaching kids and teens how to maneuver the waters of Western North Carolina during its summer camp programs. 

Summer youth events at Lake Junaluska

Church youth groups of all sizes are invited to Lake Junaluska for five Summer Youth Events June 17 to July 31.

Jackson launches outdoors camp

With a whole world of mountain beauty to explore, summer leaves no time to waste indoors. 

Waynesville’s Base Camp now offered on the go

In the four years since they first launched, Waynesville’s Base Camp summer programs — day camps packed full of outdoor adventure and environmental education — have quickly risen in popularity, selling out in hours, months ahead of when the camps begin. 

Camp Watia offers affordable fun for local youth

A YMCA camp in Swain County specifically caters to youth in Western North Carolina by offering an affordable weeklong outdoor adventure experience. 

Summer camps help kids stay sharp

When the last bell rings and the doors fly open loosing schoolchildren across the nation out into the sunny summer streets, many of them will turn right back around and participate in a plethora of camps and activities designed to keep them off the couch and active in the world around them. 

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