Do you remember visiting a summer camp as a child? Perhaps your favorite activity was swimming, or you especially loved time around the campfire. Camp was a time to make new friends, explore your independence, and an event that you looked forward to for months in advance.
If your child is deaf or hearing impaired, have you questioned if a summer camp would be appropriate for them? The good news is that there are a plethora of camps across the nation that host events specifically for those who have hearing impairments. Your kids can enjoy the same adventures that you did each year during the hot summer months.
Things To Think About
As parents, we have a tendency to be particular about certain things for our child. Maybe we want them to be involved in specific sports or shy away from some clothing styles. Choosing a camp for your hearing impaired child should be no different.
When it comes to researching camps, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I comfortable with my child staying overnight or for several days in a row?
- How close should the camp be to our home?
- Is there a camp that will cater to my child’s specific hobbies, like art or drama?
- What level of support will they receive as a hearing impaired camper?
It’s important to choose a facility with staff that understands the unique needs of children with hearing loss. They should be well-versed in utilizing visual cues to communicate as well as being able to sign.
Memories In The Making
One of the biggest motivations for sending your child to camp is the same type of benefit you received when you went as a child – making friends. For hearing impaired children, they might have a tendency to shy away from a lot of socialization, as they sometimes feel different or even can be the target of mean-spirited behavior.
Yet at a summer camp for the hearing impaired, your child will realize that there are a lot of other kids just like them, and it is a great opportunity for them to come out of their shell. Children often head back to the same camp over and over again, and can even become a counselor once they are old enough. Their bond with their camp is one that is likely to last a very long time.
Preparing For Camp
It’s best to discuss with your child what they can expect at camp, especially if it’s their first visit or they are staying overnight. Build up the opportunity as something fun and exciting rather than leaving them feeling nervous and scared because they don’t know what’s going to happen.
Set your children up for success by supplying the gear and clothing they’ll need to get the most out of their stay. Many camps for children with hearing impairment have scholarships available, as they realize the benefits of camp are so great that they should be available to everyone regardless of financial ability.
There’s a pretty good chance that your child will be sad when you drop them off, but remind them about how much fun they’re going to have and be sure to enjoy your own mini vacation while they’re gone!