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Fifth (sixth) blog

Hello everyone. I want to talk about a great camp experience from a few years ago. The name of the camp is Camp in Motion and it is located in Austin, Texas. “Camp in Motion is designed for kids who are 5-20 years old, have mild to (moderate) cerebral palsy, other almost same (similar) neurological (diagnosis)”.[1] Camp in Motion is “Dell Children’s adaptive sports camp partnership with YMCA of Austin.” [2] Here is more information about Camp in Motion. I went to Camp in Motion when I was sophomore of high school. I went there because my physical therapist thought that it would be a good way to get therapy for the right side of my body in a fun environment. I went to camp for two weeks. During the first week of camp, I felt a little nervous because I didn’t know what campers like me would do during the day. I was with mostly hearing campers; however, there was one other deaf camper, a boy, who was younger than me. I noticed that the deaf boy had Cochlear Implants like me. He wore his to camp while I didn’t. Cochlear Implants can’t get wet and in camp, we sweated a lot and swam in a pool. I also didn’t want to lose my Cochlear Implants. I was a little frustrated with communication access at first. It was hard to communicate with people because no one else knew sign language. Later, I understood what was going on a little better when I was paired with a hearing “buddy” who knew a little sign language. I was lucky to have a buddy who could communicate with me during the week. I had a lot fun with my buddy and the other campers. We played different games and did a lot of fun physical activities. We did warm ups before we started the camp day and cool downs at the end right before parent pick up time. After my Mom or Dad picked me up, I was always exhausted because of all of the events of the day. It was tiring but fun. One day, my buddy had to leave to go off to school and I was alone without a buddy. I still did a lot of things with other campers, but I also spent a lot of time watching the other campers and their buddies. The deaf camper and his buddy caught my eye and I watched them. I started to notice that they were struggling to buddy communicate. I told myself that he was deaf like me and he probably knew sign language. I knew that I needed to help the deaf boy understand what was going on and what he needed to do. I got up from the floor and walked over to them. I read lips so I understood what his buddy was trying to tell him. I started signing what the buddy was saying to him. I introduced myself. He asked me in sign language “Are you deaf?” I said yes and I asked him “Are you going to Texas School for the Deaf?” He said yes, and he asked me the same question. I said yes. I helped him throughout the day until his mom picked him up. One woman, the camp manager, saw what happened and told my Dad when he came to pick me up. She asked my dad if I could be a buddy to the deaf boy and also a camper at the same time for the next week. My dad told her to ask me and my dad interpreted what she said. I did not realize that she watched me while I helped the deaf boy. I said yes to the opportunity because I enjoyed seeing the deaf boy understand what was going on like me. Also, we both knew and understood the same language. The second week, I worked as a buddy and camper at the same time. I enjoyed my job as a buddy. I decided to come back to camp again the next year, when I was junior in high school. For the first week, I was asked to be a buddy again and was teamed with a cute hearing little girl. For the second week, I was just a camper and I had another buddy to work with me for the week. Still, I sometimes helped another camper who was deaf and had autism. I worked with different campers and helped them. I really enjoyed it. I really miss that camp and I hope I can return to that camp and as staff someday in the future. [1] Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. “Camp in Motion - Cerebral Palsy Adaptive Sports Summer Camp.” Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Accessed 8 Apr. 2019. [2] Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. “Camp in Motion - Cerebral Palsy Adaptive Sports Summer Camp.” Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Accessed 8 Apr. 2019.

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