means "Be My Guide" in the
Narragansett language, and in the 20 years of its
existence as an extended overnight camping and
adventure, Camp Mauchatea has helped to guide Rhode
Island's blind and visually impaired on the journey
When the Rhode Island Lions
Sight Foundation in 1992 agreed to expand a modest
program originated by the Rhode Island State
Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired into a
full-fledged week-long camping experience there were
few recreational opportunities for Rhode Island's
visually impaired youngsters.
In several short years, Camp
enrollment has grown from 35 to well over 50
youngsters, and continues to grow. All Rhode
Islanders aged 6 to 17 who are legally blind are
welcome at Camp Mauchatea at no cost, to include
those with multiple handicaps. Camp Mauchatea is held
at the Conference Center at Camp Canonicus in
Exeter, Rhode Island.
Camper/staff ratio is 2:1,
and under the able leadership of Camp Director Linda
Hughes, Camp Mauchatea's highly-qualified staff has
experienced a low turnover from year-to-year. Two of
the junior staff, in fact, are pursuing careers as
teachers of the blind as a direct result of their
Camp activities have
- A yearly field trip -
in past years, trips have included a ride aboard
the Old Colony & Newport Railroad, marine
studies tour aboard the Save The Bay vessel
Laura Lee, and a trip to the Foxwoods Museum.
- Swimming, boating,
"‘tubing", a fishing derby and other water
- Hiking and Nature
study, to include a local farm visit.
- Crafts and adaptive
cooking, in the past, campers have participated
in a multi-sensory Creative Arts program funded
by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council
for the Arts.
- Campfires and
sing-a-longs, a camp talent show and dance, and
a family picnic and awards ceremony at the
conclusion of camp.
Beyond the activities, which
some Campers experience for the first time, Camp
Mauchatea is a special time in which to develop and
maintain friendships that will last a lifetime.
Campers and their families, look forward with
anticipation every year to a fun filled summer
experience when they can enjoy the fun of the great
outdoors in Rhode Island that others take for
The goal of the Lions of
Rhode Island is to allow every visually impaired
child in the state to participate in this
unparalleled summer program, and to make Camp
Mauchatea even better with passing years.
For more information on Camp
Mauchatea, the Camp video "Camp Mauchatea - Be My
Guide", or the "Sponsor-A-Camper Program", contact:
Ralph E. Iannitelli
Camp Mauchatea Development Director
P.O. Box 284
Greenville, RI 02828
Telephone: (401) 949-2442