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'Nothing should hold you back' | Students who are blind conquer the rapids at the Whitewater Center

"These children are eager for the same fun and adventurous opportunities as their sighted peers."

If you ask Will Thames, there's nothing he can't do.  

Thames, a student from Matthews, N.C., is visually impaired but just conquered the rapids at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte. And it's not his first time. 

"I'm looking forward to this," Thames said about rafting at the Whitewater Center. "This is my second time at this place and from my experience, it's been a lot of fun." 

Thames and several other visually impaired students are able to spend a fun-filled day at the Whitewater Center thanks to SEE (Student Enrichment Experience) Camp H2O. SEE is a camp for children who are blind or visually impaired.  

“This week of camp and the field trip to the Whitewater Center, in particular, are major summer highlights for these children,” said Chris Flynt, SEE Camp H2O Director. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to experience the same camp adventures as their sighted peers and build lifelong friendships in the process. And, thanks to donor support, the children attend these camps completely free of charge.”

SEE Camp H2O is run by IFB Solutions, a nonprofit organization based in Winston-Salem and the largest employer of adults who are blind in the country.

 “As far as we know, we’re the only program in the southeast with these types of experiences for children who are blind,” said Flynt. “What started almost 10 years ago as a one-week day camp on the IFB campus in Winston-Salem has now grown to Charlotte and Asheville. These children are eager for the same fun and adventurous opportunities as their sighted peers.”

Thames said nothing should hold you back from having fun.

"If you see something differently like us blind folks. You should feel pride in yourself that you're able to do things like this, it's a ton of fun," Thames said.  

Click here to learn more about SEE Camp

Click here to learn more about IFB Solutions.  


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