July 31, 2019
I said before in my last blog how much fun it is to prove other people wrong. Well, this past weekend, I learned how much more fun it can be to prove yourself wrong. O.W.L. Camp at Lake Tenkiller was full of high points for a lot of campers, including myself. With this being my last year, I thought it would be fun to share my experience on the water.
The Oklahoma City O.W.L. Camp was packed with new adventures like rock climbing, roller coasters and indoor skydiving, which all came easily for me. That’s probably why it comes as a surprise to most people that I’m afraid of the water, and here I am, going to a waterski camp! I have been to this camp before but didn’t get very far on the skis, and I knew I had to at least let the boat move this time before I would let myself give up. First, I watched some of my fellow campers try the skis. Some got up quickly, while others persisted until they did, too. Then it was my turn. Of course, the instructors remembered me (they remember all of us), and they knew I was nervous. With their help, I put the skis on and took it slow, getting in the water and grabbing the bar (I'd already made it further than last time). The boat started moving slowly so I could get a feel for it, then it went a little faster, and before I knew it... I was skiing! The feeling was unreal, and I couldn’t have been happier. I was able to ski the whole time, but I had told myself that it was impossible for me. Thanks to our amazing instructors, a lot of us were even able to try getting up on the rope without the bar, which was so much fun!
This weekend wasn’t all about the water, though. The time we all spent together cooling down in the afternoons were just as memorable as the times we spent on the lake. Even though a lot of us already knew each other from previous camps, we still were able to build even stronger relationships with one another. One of the things I love about O.W.L. Camp is the community, how we can all come together after the year before and it’s like nothing has changed. Everyone is so encouraging, always finding new ways to help fellow campers. Tennis became a popular evening activity; however, it wasn’t as accessible to those with lower vision. We learned how to adapt and make changes so that everyone was included in the game, no matter their vision. (Be on the lookout for a professional team in a few years!) Some other highlights included playing Mario Kart, Dungeons and Dragons and an intense game of Family Feud, which we might just have to turn into a Tulsa camp tradition.
Of course, this weekend wouldn’t have been successful without all the support of the instructors, volunteers and NewView staff. They come out year after year just for us, and they are just as enthusiastic about the activities as the campers are. They work hard all year to get camp ready for us and are still working when we arrive to make sure everything is fit for our specific needs. From the little things like putting tape on every drop off, letting us have a little extra fun (like driving the golf cart), to believing in us when we don’t always believe in ourselves, O.W.L. Camp definitely wouldn’t be the same without them. They’ve shown us year after year that we really are Oklahomans Without Limits.
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