Who can forget that special time spent having fun and making new friends at camp? Summer camp is a great experience, and it is a particularly special time for those with hearing problems. If a child has a hearing loss requiring a hearing aid, cochlear implant, or sign language they will benefit from the opportunity to attend a summer camp. The experience provides an opportunity for hearing impaired children and adults to meet and greet others who share their condition. If you think that summer camp may be frightening for your hearing-impaired child think again, there are now camps across the country who cater to children who are deaf or have difficulty hearing.
A Special Experience
Summer camp for hearing-impaired children is a unique experience. Camp builds self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem, leadership, and self-respect. Children tend to thrive at camps where they feel a sense of belonging. Camp helps hearing impaired children develop socially, emotionally, intellectually, morally, and physically. The experience is often the highlight of the year for campers surrounded by others who can relate to their experience.
Summer camps for children with hearing problems provide the right atmosphere for the development of skill and talent. The camps which take place throughout the country offer the usual amount of summertime fun for all ages. The camps feature hiking, swimming, horseback riding, games, and other fun activities. The programs emphasize independence and the development of social skills in a safe environment.
Many of the camps staff hearing impaired adults who act as positive role models for the children. These counselors share a common bond with the campers and impart social and cultural values. The counselors must be a least 18 years or older and be enthusiastic about working with children. Camps specifically search for counselors who have a background or training in working with hearing impaired young people. A fondness for the outdoors and special skills such as arts and crafts is also a plus. There are even counselors who can accommodate Spanish-speaking campers.
Choosing a Camp
When choosing a summer camp for your child, it is important to consider these factors:
- What does your child enjoy? Do your child want a traditional camp or one that specializes in certain activities?
- Are you interested in an overnight, day, or family camp?
- What percentage of the staff is deaf or hearing impaired?
- What is the communication preference of your child? ASL, lip reading, cueing?
There are many options when it comes to summer camp for the deaf and hearing impaired. A comprehensive state-by-state listing of camps for the hearing impaired is here. There are day camps, family camps, and camps for Children of Deaf Adults (CODA).
Summer camp is a rewarding experience for children who are deaf or who experience difficulty hearing. It is a positive experience that stimulates growth and development. By exposing children to role models who share their experience, self-esteem and a sense of community gradually build within each child. So check out these special camps that provide a great summer experience for your child.