After 40 summers, camp programs for blind children and teenagers at the Bowen Island Lodge will be suspended this year due to a lack of funding.

Deacon Jones, 16, attended the camps run by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) for nine years.

“As a visually impaired teenager, it’s hard for a lot of us to become accepted in the school environment,” Jones said. “In these camps you go and everyone is a lot like you there. I’ve met some of my best friends there.”

Jones said he was upset to hear the programs are being suspended.

“Not so much for myself, but for future generations. I was personally planning to apply for a counsellor position this summer.”

He said the camps offered him an opportunity to spend time in the sun and the chance to experience new activities.

“There were kids from the interior who had never seen the ocean before,” Jones said. “I learned goal ball (at camp) and I’m now an athlete with the B.C. Blind Sports Association.”

More details on the temporary cancellation are expected today when the CNIB hosts a news conference.

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