I arrived here from the Aloha state, Hawaii, bodysurfing all the way. The idea was to wear me out so I could not be so hyperactive. It didn't work (ask the campers!). If you catch me standing still, be very quiet. I am asleep!
I've been here a few years tormenting and testing our campers with my silliness. We have had many a good time together trying to be as messy in our camp events as possible, much to Ms. Van Horn's chagrin! This next year you'd all better look out! Parents, know that we are going to possibly be more colorful than last year as I learned my lesson on how many bottles of paint to buy!!!
Camp Founder/Board Member
Hola! My name is (Janet) Arlene Van Horn. I have a BS in Special Education and a Masters of Education in Early Childhood Special Education, as well as a teacher for students that are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. I taught in the public school system in both New Jersey and Virginia for over 35 years. I was also an adjunct professor at local community colleges.
I started the Signs of fun Camp in 1995 so that my preschool students would have access to communication (ASL) in the summer and have a camp experience. The camp not only benefits the students but their parents as well. The parents have the opportunity to share and get support from each other.
After retirement, I moved to NJ to care for my elderly parents. I continue to be active and very supportive of the Signs of Fun Camp.
Deaf and Proud! I was going to Signs of Fun when I was two years old. My older sister was a camper and what better way to expose me to other deaf children than to sit on my mother's lap and watch the children play. When I turned three, I was able to participate and I continued as a camper until I became a counselor. I've never outgrown the camp. I became a mentor to many during camp and "after hours" by going to hearing family homes to work with their deaf children, showing them how easy it is to communicate with their children, even if they do not know "all" of the signs. Signs of Fun has been a blessing to me and my sisters. We're all proud to be Signs of Fun campers! I'm honored to be on the board here to see how we can further the goals and mission of Signs of Fun! 🤟
Board Member/FUNdraising Coordinator
Lorain was born in Michigan, raised in Florida and has lived in the Virginia area for over 20 years. Her professional background ranges from being a civilian paramedic to serving as an aeromedical evacuation medic with the USAF for over 25 years.
Lorain is a retired veteran who deployed on many combat tours in support of the US and our allies in global conflicts overseas. Lorain currently works for the US government as an analyst and Operations Officer, focused on our national security. Lorain holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy and is pursuing graduate school as an operational psychologist.
One of Lorain’s passions is being able to communicate with people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and persons with special abilities. She started taking American Sign Language two years ago at Germanna Community College. As a novice student of ASL, she strives to immerse herself into Deaf culture by making new deaf friends and participating in Deaf events on a regular basis.
Her personal goal is to become bilingual and be conversant in ASL to have seamless conversations with her deaf friends. Lorain believes that the opportunities offered at “Signs of Fun” Camp, provides a unique and holistic approach where fun finds balance within the sphere of mind, body, heart and soul.
I am a proud mother of a beautiful young lady (now a SoF counselor) named Jessie. Her smile can melt anyone's heart and her passion for life made me want to be more than just a "mom" to Signs of Fun. I was honored to be asked to be a board member and feel I can contribute from a parent perspective what it is like to have a child who is deaf/blind. We love you Signs of Fun!
As an accountant, I do the books for many non-profits and am asked quite often to sit on varying boards. I only will accept a board position when I feel the non-profit does exceptional work. I feel this way about Signs of Fun.
This organization's mission of bringing awareness to the community regarding adults and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing is greatly needed. There are more people living with deafness or expiring hearing loss due to our current culture.
The youth of today need this camp and the events Signs of Fun offers where they can be taught and enjoy themselves in an environment that makes them comfortable and not isolated from their peers is extraordinary! I love that Signs of Fun can provide youth a safe and friendly place for them to play, grow, and just be kids!
Joni K. Terens, EA