90-year-old Ervin Thomas said the Lions Club programs allow “me to meet wonderful people. I really appreciate the Lions providing the opportunities they do.”
– Ervin Thomas
“The total package, great for mind, body, and soul. That’s the best way I can describe my camping experience at Camp Dogwood for the Blind. I have attended for two years now and I can’t praise the camp enough, and the facilities are wonderful. The wide spread activities available keep the body moving or if you wish you can simply lead for the week. My favorite aspect of Camp Dogwood is the coming together with the blind from all over NC, meeting and getting to know and fellowshipping with old and new friends, hearing the life stories and challenges is truly fascinating. The staff and food is very warm friendly and very accommodating. Camp Dogwood is the total package. I’ll be back next year and many years to come!”
– Joy Scott
“We enjoyed tubing, cruising the lake on the pontoon boat, miniature golf, horseshoes, playing corn hole, bingo, exercise class, fishing, exploring the library and computer center, and the touchable art gallery, and just talking and laughing with the counselors, campers and volunteers. The fact that we were not the youngest campers didn’t stop us from enjoying the dance one evening either.”
– Tom & Sylvia Serdula
“People take all the exuberance and friendships of Camp Dogwood home and the afterglow lasts until the VIP Fishing Tournament in the fall. It allows us to celebrate each other.”
– Jessee Smith
“All year I looked forward to Camp Dogwood — not knowing what to expect. Never realizing how much this experience would mean to me — before camp, I felt alone with my vision impairment but after being around so many people at camp was very inspiring — much like a spiritual experience — I now feel more confident about my blindness and have been encouraged by other campers and staff — One of my best memories and looking forward to next year.”
– Ryan Renegar
“I have been here 14 years to meet new people and renew old friendships. I love the waterfront, boating and fishing. I hate Fridays because I have to go home. I get very sad on Friday!”
– Tim Poole
“Our counselors and other staff assured that no camper had unmet needs, including walking us back to our dorm room or wherever we needed to go or provide help with an unmet need. Once, I told a volunteer that I was concerned that my travel toothpaste would not be enough for the week. I only wanted to see if I could buy some at camp. Without a word, he left me and in seconds came back to give me a complimentary new tube!”
– Tim Towery
“The staff was great and very helpful and they took the time to be considerate to everyone. We all found we had things in common. It was wonderful being at camp and not having to worry about stuff for a week. The meals were fantastic too, and very filling! We can’t wait until time to go back to camp again!!”
– Christine & Scott Rainwater
“I love the bowling and Putt-Putt golf!”
– Bonnie Ward
“The staff and volunteers treat the campers out of this world. I will be back. I feel like family!”
– Lonzo Haynes
Camp Dogwood is a recreational facility located on Lake Norman in Catawba County. We operate a recreational program consisting of 10 one week overnight sessions for adults with blindness and visual impairment. Typically campers arrive on Sunday afternoons and depart the following Saturday morning. This recreational/vacation experience includes but is not limited to boating, fishing, swimming, tubing, art, crafts, mini golf, and off campus trips to shopping, seminars, bowling, the art museum and zoo. The staff to camper ratio is usually one to six. In addition to staffing the various activities, our staff serve as sighted guides, assist serving meals, and in other capacities that serve our visually impaired and blind guests. Our goal is to provide a week of fun and fellowship. We serve ages 18 years up to 100 years in this program. Campers must be able to provide their own self care. If they need assistance with self-care they may bring a caregiver with them.
This recreational facility is the flagship of the North Carolina Lions organization. When you hear the word camp you probably think of kids and tents. We are the opposite of that. Our accommodations are resort and hotel style. Our hotel style guestrooms are fully fitted with two full size beds, all linens, a private bathroom and individual heating/cooling. Our grounds have paved roads and sidewalks for easy mobility.
We also offer a one week “Camp Abilities” session for youth ages 11-17 years in partnership with the nonprofit Raising Cane, lnc. RaisingCane.org.