The Colleges will host Camp Vision, a summer program designed for middle school students who have a learning disability or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), this summer. Using various activities in categories such as art, athletic competition and technology, Camp Vision works to improve self-esteem while empowering students through a mentoring relationship with counselors who also have learning disabilities.
Camp Vision is directed by William Smith graduate Alexandra Connell ’10, who serves as national program coordinator of Project Eye-to-Eye, the non-profit organization that runs Camp Vision. Connell formed the Camp Vision chapter at HWS during her sophomore year- an experience she says helped her find her passion.
“While at HWS I realized the power of the program,” Connell stated. “This is where I found my passion. The camp taught me the ways I learn and empowered me to realize I can do anything I put my mind to despite having a learning disability.”
Connell developed the Camp Vision chapter for local middle schools at HWS, and now the Camp is attracting more and more children from New York state, and even a few from outside New York. Connell puts together a staff of approximately eight college students from around the country, all of whom have a learning disability and or ADHD.
There are also five junior counselors who assist with the camp and serve as role models.
“It is so great to see the counselors transition from campers to the role models they are now,” says Connell. “It’s fascinating to watch these kids progress and see them become empowered right before our eyes.”
According to Connell, the location and amenities offered at HWS make the campus a perfect destination for the camp.
“We are so appreciative of HWS for donating the space to us,” she says. “We love the campus because it provides us with amazing facilities that fit the activities we incorporate, and it allows the campers to start visualizing themselves in college; it gets them thinking about their futures.”
This year’s camp spans from June 25-29 and is free of charge. However, donations are greatly appreciated. For more information on Project-Eye-To-Eye and Camp vision please visit: projecteyetoeye.org/programs/camp-vision.html