‘I don’t feel left out:’ Sports camp on Marquette campus caters to youth who are blind or visually impaired

Madalyn Barnes

MILWAUKEE -- The Vision Forward Association is hosting the fourth annual "Play It Forward Youth Sports Camp" from July 23-25 on the Marquette University campus. The camp is for youth -- and all sports are adapted specifically for young people with vision loss.

If you ask, Bryce Sumner will tell you this summer camp rocks. The 11-year-old and his friends can be as loud and rowdy as they want to be.

"You get to bang your drumsticks together on the mat," said Sumner.

"Awesome! The kids are having a blast," said Madalyn Barnes, school age program manager, Vision Forward Association.

Everyone takes part.

"None of them realize there is anything different about them because they are all kind of the same," said Sumner.

Seventy percent of school-aged children who are blind have never participated in any sport or physical activity. Vision Forward is determined to change this by offering this camp and other physical activities.

"Everybody can play," said 15-year-old Isabella Brown, Germantown.

They invited like Sumner, who are blind or visually impaired, onto the Marquette campus for three full days of sports, friendship and lots of fun.

"Everyone has a vision problem, so you are all on an equal playing level," said Brown.

No one sits on the sideline. Every sport is adapted for every kid.

"Sometimes I have to have a helper teacher with me. At this camp, everyone needs a little help," said Sumner.

The only label used at this camp sticks to their T-shirt.

No matter the game, Sumner and his friends know while they are here, scores don't matter.

"I don't feel left out. I don't feel different," said Sumner.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Vision Forward.