DeafBlind campers arrived from Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Washington and Canada to attend our first ever DeafBlind long weekend camp in September of 2010. Working in conjunction with the Minnesota DeafBlind Association (MBDA), our number one goal was to make sure everyone had a great time, meeting new friends without communication barriers and to ensure that everyone was safe at all times.
Our hayride truck and trailer became our “shuttle” service throughout the long weekend, bringing people from cabin to cabin, activity to activity. Rope was strung around the property as well so that those who wished to be independent could walk around, on their own.
We also had a wonderful team of volunteers who worked as Support Service Providers (SSP’s are not interpreters) providing visual and environmental information to ensure DB people were independent.
Campers enjoyed many different activities such as:
* Smittie’s Revenge (climbing a 60 foot tree with professional climbing gear)
* Swimming and Tubing
* Pontoon Rides
* Hiking in the backwoods
* Smell Hike in the backwoods
* Slippery Slide (ride potato sack bags and wax paper down the big 6 lane slide)
* Nature Center exploration in a room full of educational material about the outdoors and nature, including tame corn snakes, mourning doves and lots of taxidermy animals
* Campfires and smores
* Animal Sanctuary visits to the tame deer, rabbits, turkeys, geese, ducks, pigs, pheasants and many more!
* Plenty of games!
Having never had the opportunity to work with DeafBlind people before, I found this camp experience to be truly wonderful and life changing. I have to say this group of campers was one of the friendliest, most understanding, patient, and funny bunch of people that we have ever had at camp! I look forward to planning and hosting our next DeafBlind camp in 2012! Watch for dates and registration to be announced here!