Indiana O&M Adventure Summer Camp: Play and Practical Lessons   

Photo of woman holding a toy with a toddler on the floor in front of an orange cone.

Thanks to APH FamilyConnect’s sponsorship, children who are blind or have low vision in Indiana from birth through age 18 have the chance to attend the first-ever O&M Adventure Summer Camp! The camp is being offered in two-hour sessions over the course of three weeks in Indianapolis.   

The camp is the brainchild of Mindy Koehne, a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) and Orientation & Mobility (O&M) intern, who was looking for a way to earn her internship hours. She joined forces with Tommie Roesch, a TVI and Certified O&M Specialist (COMS); the duo created a camp to help kids develop their O&M skills while simultaneously having fun adventures!  

 “I’ll be learning from the kids just as much as they’ll be learning from me,” Mindy says.    

Fun learning for all ages  

The birth to 3-year-old group will learn pre-cane skills. These include using “safety hands” (protective hand techniques), trailing along a wall, and moving through unfamiliar places. Such skills can start early. Parents must attend with this age group. This is because O&M instructors will guide parents on how to continue teaching these skills at home.

 “We want to make sure we educate parents on what they can do with their children, because family members spend the most time with their [young learners],” Mindy says. “We can help parents build foundational skills that will benefit both the child and the family.”  

 Parents of youth in the older age groups simply drop their children off for sessions. Each group will engage in activities appropriate to their ages and current O&M skills. For example, if the child has received minimal O&M instruction, the counselors will start with introductory concepts and skills.   

Mindy and Tommie are also incorporating additional components of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) into the camp; they have planned activities to help campers learn competencies such as independent living skills.  

 Mindy shares a few of the interactive, motivating happenings: “The children will [participate in] hands-on activities like planting flowers,” Mindy says. “And [we’ll make] food each time they come—everybody likes to eat!”  

Advanced activities for older kids  

The older age groups will venture out from the VIPS office to practice travel skills. They’ll learn to catch a bus, buy ice cream at the mall, and shop at the grocery store. They’ll participate in scavenger hunts, like finding items for a “pizza garden” to make their own pizzas. Also, they’ll engage in group activities, learning about restaurant layouts, ordering food, and seeking help when necessary.

 On the final day of camp, the older teens will participate in a variation of Cane Quest. They’ll build a mini cane using a dowel rod, tape, and string that they can take home.  

 In the event of inclement weather, Mindy and Tommie have alternative indoor activities planned to keep campers busy.   

Choose your own adventure  


The camp is divided into three weeks, and kids can attend all three two-hour sessions – or one or two. No matter how many sessions they attend, campers will learn valuable skills and participate in engaging activities. 

 “This is all thanks to the generous donation of APH FamilyConnect, which really helped us take the camp to a new level,” Mindy says.  

 Do you think the camp will be a good fit for your child? Campers are already starting to enroll – so don’t wait! You can register online here. Registrations must be received by May 16.