Friday, September 05, 2008

Scouts' organization help visually impaired boys while camping

Marietta’s Sam Hogle is a 17-year-old teenager who gives back.
As part of Sam’s Eagle Scout project, he took five visually impaired boys, ages 11-14, on a weekend camping trip to Covington.

Sam Hogle, 17, who is blind, recently took some other visually impaired kids on a campout as part of his Eagle Scout project. Dad (and Scoutmaster) Greg Hogle was on the trip, too.

Their first outdoor camping experience included carving walking sticks, throwing hatchets, playing games, fishing and cooking their meals.

“They loved it! Our chili and corn bread tasted the best. The guys were better cooks than the Scouts,” said Hogle, who is blind.

Four of the five campers are fellow members of the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta.
They were accompanied by two adults, including Sam’s dad and Scoutmaster Greg Hogle and five sighted Scout buddies.

Camping, he said, was something different for an Eagle Scout project.

“Everybody usually builds something, but I thought this would help visually impaired kids get more involved in the community,” he said.

To help fund the expedition, Sam sent letters to potential donors. He raised enough money to fund the camping trip, with $1,183 left over.

He’s donating the extra money to the Center for the Visually Impaired’s STARS program.

It will be earmarked for the goal ball sports program. That’s a Paralympic team sport for blind and visually impaired athletes.

Playing sports “makes you feel like you don’t have a handicap,” said Sam, a senior at Kennesaw’s Mount Paran Christian School.

He’s training for his new job at Chick-fil-A and just completed a three-week internship at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. After college, he wants to become a blind rehabilitation instructor for the VA.


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