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The Campers Are Coming!

By Dorothy Troyer


Every year 7 to 10 kids have lunch with the Wheaton Lions.  These kids are attending a week-long Computer Day Camp at Spectrios Institute for Low Vision.  This year on August 7th, 10 campers and their counselors, will go to the Lions’ Den on Wesley Street in downtown Wheaton, where each child will be greeted by a personal host Lion.  The host will explain the opening exercises of the meeting; Pledge of Allegiance, singing of God Bless America and a blessing on the food.


Lunch is served family style, so the host Lion is responsible for making sure his/her guest gets a helping of everything and seconds if they want them.  During lunch the host Lion will learn something about his/her guest, which will be shared with everyone when the guests are introduced as part of the Lions business meeting.


Guest Campers are all children who are blind or visually impaired and have participated in the “Seeing Is Believing” program sponsored by Lions of Illinois Foundation.   Computer Day Camp at Spectrios is funded by a private donor.


These children do receive special assistance in school from Vision Teachers, but for the most part they are mainstreamed and do not have the opportunity to interact with other children who are blind or visually impaired. 


Camp Director, Leah Gerlach, feels that in addition to building computer skills to stay current and learn about the newest technology, including IPads and talking GPS, one of the strengths of Computer Camp is providing an opportunity for the kids to interact with other kids with vision loss and just having fun. Lunch with the Wheaton Lions is a highlight of their week.


Camp Director, Leah Gerlach M.S., C.R.C., has a master’s degree in Rehabilitation administration and Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Illinois, a Certificate in Adaptive Technology Applications, California State University, and 250 hours of postgraduate studies in teaching computer access for people with vision loss.

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