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CNIB Lake Joe: How camp changes lives

By: Emilee Schevers
CNIB National Youth Council Member 

Last summer, the CNIB National Youth Council hosted an in-person retreat – the first in nearly three years – at CNIB Lake Joe

Located in the heart of Muskoka, Ontario, CNIB Lake Joe is a one-of-a-kind accessible camp that stretches over 12.5 acres on the northwest corner of beautiful Lake Joseph. For many National Youth council members, this was their first time visiting Lake Joe.  Some members of the CNIB National Youth Council at CNIB Lake Joe. The group poses for a photo in the lounge, standing in front of a window. From Left to right: Taylor, Alicia, Oceanne, Rilind, Caleb, Caelin, Abby, Eitel, Will and Emilee.

“I always heard how “magical” CNIB Lake Joe is, but I had never been there, so I didn’t understand the hype,” says council member Curtis Ruttle. “Then I visited the camp and finally understood what all the fuss was about! I don’t know how to explain it, but the feeling of just being there was truly incredible.”
From relaxing on the water during a pontoon cruise to breaking a sweat on the rock wall, there are many activities for all interests at CNIB Lake Joe. 

“My favourite activity at Lake Joe is by far mini golf. The 9-hole course is easy and makes me look like a pro,” says council member Caleb Piche-Larocque. “A few of us had a big competition the first night we were there and ended up going back to golf every minute we had free.”
For many, the best part of the National Youth Council retreat was being around other individuals with sight loss and meeting other young adults who have experienced sight loss. 

“The room was full of laughter, and friendships formed instantly. We all had so many different stories but still bonded on our commonalities as young adults and leaders who just happen to have sight loss,” says council member Alicia Chenier.

The three-day National Youth Council retreat inspired the creation of a new Young Adult program at CNIB Lake Joe as part of the 2023 season. The best part of this new program is that it’s $150 for participants to attend! The hope is that this heavily subsidized fee will allow more youth to experience the magic of camp and make life-long friends on the shores of Lake Joseph. Will you be joining us?
Explore the program and registration details