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Students with visual impairments learn 'SurvEYEvor' skills at camp

Members of the band Rockin Horse Peter - Kris Tvrdik, Reese Aldrich and Paul Kies - performed for campers before letting them try out their instruments.1 / 2
Campers took part in a team building challenge course that included swinging from deck to deck on a rope.2 / 2

"SurvEYEvor" was the theme of a camp for students with visual impairments held at Luther Crest Bible Camp near Alexandria September 29-30.

The goal of the camp is to provide opportunities for students with visual impairments to develop compensatory skills and skills in visual efficiency, social interaction, independent living, orientation and mobility, self-determination, recreation and leisure and in the use of assistive technology.

This year's participants took pontoon rides, learned survivor skills including using a compass and doing orienteering, took part in a challenge course and enjoyed a camp dance featuring the band Rockin Horse Peter.

According to Nicole Schmidt, a teacher of students with visual impairments in area schools who is involved with the camp, the band has volunteered to perform at the camp for several years.

Schmidt noted that the band members donate their time, typically playing about two hours so the campers can dance.

"Not only do they provide the music, but they also allow the students to hold the instruments and experiment in playing them," she said. "We just really appreciate their willingness to do this."

Band members who performed this year include Kris Tvrdik of Lowry, Reese Aldrich of Almora and Paul Kies of Parkers Prairie. Chris Lee of Parkers Prairie has also performed with the band at past camps.

The camp is made possible in whole or in part with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding.


The two-day camp is held every other year and is specifically designed for students who have a

variety of eye conditions or syndromes resulting in total blindness to low vision.