Independent Living Skills

The following list of skills could be taught at any camp at any time to any number of campers. OUB Staff evaluate campers based on camper surveys, information from parents or guardians, and personal observation, and include these skills in a camper’s skill work for their week at camp based on those needs and opportunity. Not every camper needs help learning to shampoo their hair, but we have taught this skill to past campers. Not all campers are ready for sharp knives and taking a hot cookie sheet out of the oven, but campers know that all of these things are possible with enough practice and help learning the skill. Knowing that a person who is blind or visually impaired CAN learn to do things that seem difficult or impossible – especially to parents – means that a camper understands that he or she can learn to do these things themselves eventually, regardless of what others may say or think. For more information, please contact Gwen Botting, Executive Director of Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind at [email protected], or 616-755-2221.

Cooking Skills

  1. How to safely use a sharp kitchen knife
  2. How to use small kitchen appliances safely
  3. Measuring liquid and dry ingredients
  4. How to read and use a recipe
  5. Basic food chemistry
  6. Setting the table
  7. Using silverware
  8. Doing dishes
  9. Cleaning
  10. Preheating an oven
  11. Safely putting foods into a hot oven
  12. Safely removing food from a hot oven
  13. Cleaning out the refrigerator
  14. Nutritional meals
  15. Safety in the Kitchen
  16. Working with a team
  17. Shopping for ingredients
  18. How to set up a budget and stay within a budget when purchasing items
  19. Campfire cooking
  20. Campfire safety

In the tents

  1. How to organize possessions
  2. How to mop, sweep, use a dustpan, clean
  3. How to clean a bathroom
  4. How to take out trash
  5. How to fold clothes
  6. How to hang wet clothes after swimming

Personal Care

  1. Showers
  2. How to wash and care for your hair
  3. Brushing teeth
  4. Feminine hygiene
  5. Washing your face
  6. Importance of washing your hands
  7. How to use deodorant and why
  8. Caring for your nails

Outdoor Skills

  1. Gardening, including:
    1. How to build garden beds that are accessible to persons with little or no vision.
    2. Methods to identify desirable plants and differentiate between them and weeds
    3. How to water effectively
    4. How to harvest vegetables and herbs
    5. How to use those vegetables and herbs in meals
  2. Travel skills
    1. Using public transportation
    2. Safely crossing a street
  3. Hiking skills
    1. Trail safety, direction finding
    2. Insect repellent use, checking for ticks
    3. Trail etiquette
    4. Packing for a hike
  4. How to set up a tent
  5. How to fold/roll a sleeping bag
  6. Adaptive sports
  7. Packing for a trip
  8. Water safety


  1. How to work with others
  2. How to ask for help
  3. The importance of self-advocacy, and how to advocate without seeming rude
  4. Communication skills
  5. Money management
  6. Setting up a budget
  7. How to work as a team
  8. Planning
  9. Using a to do list
  10. How to resolve conflict
  11. Computer skills
  12. Using assistive technology

Arts and Crafts

  1. Knitting
  2. Felting
  3. Pottery
  4. 3-dimensional paint
  5. Paper creations
  6. Sewing
  7. Dyeing


  1. Rock climbing
  2. Zip-lining
  3. Goalball
  4. Boating/ Canoeing
  5. Swimming
  6. Talent shows
  7. Music
  8. Field trips
    1. Behavior expectation
    2. Use of sighted-guide (or not)
    3. Respect for public and private property