History and Purpose of the Georgia Lions' Camp for the Blind, Inc.

In 1972, the Okefenokee Lions Club saw a need to provide recreation for the over 12,500 blind children in the state of Georgia. Under the direction and leadership of C.M. Blanton, Past District Governor of 18-B, it was decided that a one-week summer camp should be held at the Laura S. Walker State Park.

In July of 1974, other Lions Clubs in the South Georgia area requested District Governor Don Anderson to form a committee for the purpose of locating and organizing a camp for the blind in the state of Georgia. District Governor Anderson took the plans before the Georgia Lions Council of Governors and received commitments from them that they would support the effort throughout the state.

A delegation of Lions met with the Governor Jimmy Carter on November 27, 1974 to secure 62 acres of land adjoining Laura S. Walker State Park. The plans to provide a camp for the visually impaired on this site were approved. By the following June, the Department of Natural Resources had also approved the transfer of those 62 acres of land to the Georgia Lions. On September 12, 1975, the Georgia Lions' Camp for the Blind, Inc. was chartered as a non-profit organization.

The primary users of the Camp are the visually impaired residents of Georgia. Other groups such as churches, businesses, and families are allowed to use the facilities from September through May at a nominal fee.

In 1980, fifty-two blind and visually impaired campers attended the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, Inc. The Catfish Pond was also constructed at this time near the back of the property. A Camp Director was hired the next year to operate the camp during that summer. Fifty-three campers participated in our program. In 1983, with a full-time Director on board, the summer program expanded to nine weeks. A full-time Secretary was hired and the Gazebo was completed that same year.

The Dining Hall (Lioness Hall) and kitchen were opened for use in 1986. Between 1984 and 1989, a 4500 sq. ft. dormitory and 400-meter track were added to the facility. The Camp logo and motto “A Vision for a Brighter Tomorrow” were officially adopted.

In 1985, the number of campers climbed to 130 for the summer program. During the summer of 2000, approximately 190 campers attended. Since then, the average has continued to be around 195 per year.

Currently, the Camp provides housing for both the Director and the Building and Grounds Manger on site. A large Activity Center was constructed in 1996 with assistance from the Flash Foods Corporation. The most recent addition to the Camp was a large maintenance building, constructed in 1999. The grounds also include a swimming pool, the Paul Azinger Arts n’ Crafts Building, stables, and canoes with lakeside access.

Our “Vision for a Brighter Tomorrow” includes the continued expansion of the facility in an effort to provide the best possible experience for those that participate in the programs, so generously supported by the Lions and Lionesses of Georgia.

Past Camp Presidents

*Deceased

*Dr. C. M. Blanton
1976-1980
Waycross, GA
*Don Anderson
1980-1981
Rincon, GA
Ray Rowell
1981-1984
303 Gastley Road
Clarksville, GA 30523

Joe Cox
1984-1986
9610 Greenville HWY
Quitman, GA 31643
R: 229-263-4900
*Ray Peters
1986-1988
Augusta, GA
Don Lynch
1988-1990
700 Crescent Street
Waycross, GA 31501
R: 912-283-4379

Walter Sealy
1990-1992
PO Box 8
Cotton, GA 31739
R: 229-294-4521
B: 229-294-4058
Lonnie V. Roberts
1992-1994
PO Box 1300
Hazelhurst, GA 31539
R: 912-375-2557
B: 912-375-6611
Stan Bazemore
1994-1998
PO Box 868
Lyons, GA 30436
R: 912-526-6646
B: 912-537-4121
F: 912-526-6074

Hank Barks
1998-2002
614 Todd circle
Warner Robins, GA 31088
R: 478-923-5649
F: 478-923-2310
Dr Jim Davis
2002-2003
Woodstock, GA

Thois Masters
2003-2004
PO Box 330
Mountain City, GA 30562
R: 706-746-2682
Ed Ressler
2004-2008
3935 Admiral Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30341
C: 404-444-2064


Frank Spinney
2008-2012
5088 Farmers Bridge
Hephziibah, GA 30815
R: 706-592-5618


Doy J. Barks (Hank)
2012-2013
614 Todd Circle
Warner Robins, GA 31088
R: 478-923-5649
C: 478-396-1987

     

 

Camp Objectives

 

  • to foster the desire for participation in all camp activities
  • to foster the desire for participation in all camp activities
  • to develop in campers, a sense of responsibility and respect for others
  • to provide the opportunity to develop a more positive attitude toward their disability
  • to enable the camper to learn to accept ways of competing and cooperating with others
  • to stimulate in campers greater independence, self reliance, resourcefulness, and initiative
  • to help the camper learn new skills and to explore one’s individual abilities
  • to encourage participation in, and shared responsibilities of a democratic society
  • to provide opportunities for understanding and appreciation through an awareness of the natural surroundings
  • to aid the camper to achieve self-realization, self fulfillment and personal identity
  • to provide an opportunity for campers to have FUN

Contact Us

5626 Laura Walker Road
Waycross, GA 31503
912-283-4320
912-283-5130 Fax
888-297-1775 (GA Only)
secretary@glcb.org