A look at summer camps for children with hearing loss

It’s almost summertime! And while most students are anxiously counting down the days until there is no school, many parents are scrambling to find camps for their children to attend. Going to camp is a wonderful experience for children, and it can be made even more special for children with hearing loss when they attend a camp with other children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Read about one CID family’s experience at a cochlear implant camp… and then check out the links provided to find a camp for children with hearing loss in your area!

nora and wes

In the winter of 2020, Nick and Wendy Needham registered their family, including their three children Nora, Wesley and Evelyn, for the Listen Foundation’s Cochlear Implant Family Camp. Both Nora and Wesley are bilateral cochlear implant users, and Nick and Wendy felt the camp would be a unique and beneficial experience for them. They hoped but didn’t expect to get a spot in the highly coveted camp; however, much to their surprise, late in the summer they learned a spot was being held for them at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado.

The goal of this camp is to “share success through recreation, education and connection.” Families participate in a variety of fun activities such as nature walks, axe throwing, mini golf and nightly campfires. There are also cochlear implant device companies and an assortment of vendors on-site for families to meet with. Many children who attend the camp are in a mainstream setting with few, if any, peers who also have hearing loss. Nick noted that some of the children attending the camp had never met another child with a cochlear implant, making the new friend connections even more special. Nora, age 9, said, “It was interesting to go to camp with other kids with implants because I learned about other companies’ implants. I also had fun meeting kids from other states like Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and Colorado.”

The Listen Foundation’s camp is not the only camp designed for children with hearing loss. Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center has gathered a resource page with camps across the country. Within Missouri alone there are several amazing summer camps for children with hearing loss. These camps allow children to not only be with other children who are deaf and hard of hearing but also to be with leaders who are ready to help them be successful. The Missouri School for the Deaf has compiled a great list for you to explore. Be sure to check out options in your state!

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Thank you, Needham family, for sharing your experience at the Listen Foundation’s Cochlear Implant Camp. Check out these blog posts about more summer topics!

Tips for planning and enjoying a vacation with hearing devices

Swim tips for children who are deaf and hard of hearing

HOLTMAN

Interview conducted by Kathy Holtman, AuD

Kathy Holtman is the director of the Martha E. Jones Pediatric Audiology Center at Central Institute for the Deaf- CID. She received her Master’s degree in audiology from Ohio State University and her doctoral degree in audiology from A.T. Still University.  Prior to working at CID, Dr. Holtman practiced at Ohio State University Medical Center, University Hospitals of Cleveland/Mednet and Cleveland Speech and Hearing Clinic.  Her professional interests include assessing new hearing aid technology and device options for school-aged children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

cover photo credit to freepik.com

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