NORMAN — For counselor Natalie Sells, the annual Oklahomans Without Limits camp for blind and visually impaired children is her favorite week of the year — every year.
“It beats my birthday, Christmas, everything. I love it,” Sells said as she guided some children into the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on Wednesday.
Camper Ashton Parker, 8, of Yukon, who happened to overhear Sells, popped up beside her to second the sentiment.
“Me, too. I love it,” Ashton said, flashing a thumbs-up sign.
About 35 children and teens ages 8 through 18 with varying degrees of visual impairment are participating in this year's camp, which is sponsored by NewView Oklahoma, formerly the Oklahoma League for the Blind.
Each child is paired with a sighted companion, usually a teenage volunteer who accompanies the child on rounds of activities, including museum tours, swimming, arts activities and storytelling groups.
Sells has served as a camp counselor for four years and sees no end to her participation.
“I wouldn't miss it. These kids are so inspirational. They teach me so much about perseverance,” she said.
The counselors, teen volunteers and campers are staying at University of Oklahoma dormitories this year. They're scheduled to conclude their camp Friday afternoon with a talent show.
“We're busy all the time,” said camper Aubrey Weatherly, 17, of Lawton. “We've been swimming. We've made masks. We've gone to museums. It's really, really fun.”