Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is excited to announce a big change coming to our camp program. As of July 9, 2019, we’re rebranding our camp programs to Camp Spark! Formerly known as Camp Abilities Oregon and Camp Abilities Washington, Camp Spark enables us to scale and enhance the camp program and has officially been adopted as NWABA’s sixth core program.
Upgrading Our Camp Program
In 2016, our camp program started as Camp Abilities, a comprehensive youth sports program for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind. As NWABA and the popularity of our camp program have grown, we made the decision to develop a model that best fits the needs of the communities we support. We are incredibly grateful for the momentum that Camp Abilities initiated and are excited to continue this trajectory with Camp Spark. With this change, Camp Spark will enable us to deliver numerous camps per state for campers of all ages, ability levels, and demographics. Camp Spark will transform lives of individuals who are blind and visually impaired through sport.
Adding Teams and Divisions
In addition to a new camp name, we are introducing a few other exciting changes this year, with one being our Signing Day! Each camper and staff member will be signed to a team, either the Red Hozomeens or Blue Tumalos, and will be on this team for life. Campers will experience what it means to be a part of a team, learn to show sportsmanship both on and off the field, and develop a strong team bond. In order to create an incredibly powerful moment, campers will be signed to their teams on the first night of camp and will receive some red or blue gear to help show their team spirit in competitions throughout the week. We are so excited to add this element to camp!
Additionally, campers will be in a division (juniors, varsity, elite, masters) and will travel with these divisions to activities throughout the day. These divisions are similar to a cabin group and will help campers develop a strong community during their time at camp and hopefully continue after camp. Campers will be in the same division as their roommates and divisions will be grouped by ages. These will be revealed, along with who their counselor is when campers check in to camp.
When developing the rebrand, we enlisted the help of previous campers, camp staff, board members, marketing, and advertising professionals. We wanted the camp logo to be on brand with our organization’s logo while embodying our camp slogan, transforming lives through sport. Together we created a brand that highlights the spark that ignites within our campers when they experience camp. What is that spark? It is building community, learning life skills, developing self-esteem, gaining independence, conquering new goals, and creating memories for a lifetime.
In all of our programs, we hold ourselves accountable and above reproach. Camp Spark will move us towards our goal of being a leading authority in the field of camp for individuals with visual impairments. Looking ahead, Camp Spark sessions could include an adult adventure session, sport-specific training sessions, family weekend sessions, multiple sessions per state, and much more. The possibilities are endless! In all Camp Spark sessions, we will create a fun, safe, and impactful program for all to enjoy.
We are excited for the future of NWABA programs and services. With the addition of Camp Spark as an official core program, we will be able to impact a growing number of individuals with visual impairments through a camp experience.