By the time this post publishes, I’ll be sky high–literally. I’ll be on a flight toward Portland, Me, by way of DC (sorry, District friends, my layover is only two-and-a-half hours).
It’s that time of year, again: time for Camp Discover, held at the beautiful Pine Tree Camp in Rome, ME. The fact that the camp is in Maine is not the only beautiful thing about it. Pine Tree Camp is one of a few camps in the US that is fully ADA accessible, both for physical access and for communication access.
Camp Discover is a multimodal and multilingual camp for families who have children who are deaf or hard of hearing. American Sign Language, Cued American English, and Listening and Spoken Language are all in use at camp. The littles get a camp experience with a variety of activities, and the bigs get ASL classes, CAE classes, and LSL strategies classes.
But most importantly, kids get to be around other kids who are also deaf or hard of hearing (some kids with hearing loss go to their local public schools where they may be the only such child, or one of a few), and parents get to be around other parents who know their struggles and their triumphs.
My role at Camp Discover is my role at each of the three camps I participate in every year: whatever they need me to do. Sometimes it’s interpret ASL. Sometimes it’s teach Cued Speech. Sometimes it’s transliterating cued language. Setting up. Tearing down. Making copies. You get the idea.
Because at the end of the day, when those parents can communicate even just a little bit better with their kids, whatever I did was worth it.
As always, I welcome your questions and thoughtful comments.