20/20-VISUALIZE WHAT YOUR FUTURE CAN HOLD
With COVID-19 still wandering through the air, we have had to recreate our Signs of Fun model. This year, we hosted camp virtually. I will admit, it was a hard decision with politicians and medical advice to wade through. It was also a struggle because we are a summer camp, an outdoor camp, a running, screaming, throwing powder paint, and making a mess-type camp. But we coped. We worked fervently to make the best opportunities for our campers.
Amber Galloway joined us each morning to share with us HER vision of music and how it can be incorporated into the Deaf community.
Dr. Debo from Gallaudet was our "mad scientist" this year. He shared MANY scientific mind-blowing experiences! Our art projects focused on optical illusions. Chris O'Kelly came to us from the Fredericksburg Artists Group to lend a hand.
GO BIG OR GO HOME
During this year, our motto was "the bigger, the better."
Monday: Spotsylvania County Volunteer Fire Department brought an ambulance and ladder truck.
Tuesday: A U.S. Customs and Border Control helicopter flew in and landed on campgrounds! Children were able to watch its arrival and departure, learn about the pilot's job, ask questions, and climb into the helicopter.
Wednesday: BUCKSHOT, a10,000lbs H2 Hummer Monster Truck, drove up to camp and got campers revved up! Campers watched a demonstration of the truck driving, talked to the driver, and climbed into the truck. In addition, a police SUV from Alexandria Police Department came to talk to campers about the profession and demonstrate the rumble siren which alerts motorists to the police car by vibration, instead of sound. Whereas we feel for the police officers' eardrums, it was technically his fault for allowing our campers to play with the sirens all day. It's a deaf camp. We're not certain what the officers were thinking! But it was AWESOME!!!
Thursday: After-hours, campers went to Sky Zone and bounced their hearts out.
Friday: Campers and community members worked together to break a world record of chalk murals.
UP IN THE AIR
Keith Wann was our special guest this year and wow! He made it a very special year!
Monday (Sometimes I Throw My Hands Up): Along with our food for the day, we also played minute to win it games. Monday’s was the Newton’s Apple game where we all had the challenge to stack apples on top of each other within a minute. With four teams, it was crazy! We went through quite a few bags of apples and wound up with applesauce for our MessFest on Friday.
Tuesday (Cherish New Opportunities): We were able to pay for 36 campers to visit Sky Zone and jump “Up In the Air” and we had way more than two “worlds” colliding but it was fun, nonetheless. Our craft for the day was a Sky Lantern for each participant. They took them home after decorating and we heard many families lit up the night sky Tuesday night.
Wednesday (Sometimes I Need to Escape): We bought kite kits for each camper and were able to fly them by the end of our arts and crafts class. We bought them from www.kitesonaroll.com
Thursday (When Two Worlds Collide): We got into the “rock craze” and I purchased many large sized rocks (we had younger children so we did not want to take the chance of rocks being swallowed) for painting. Each year, we try to somehow include a community project and this year’s rocks became part of the community’s Take One, Leave One rock garden, which can be found in front of Fredericksburg Baptist Church.
Friday (It's My World to Create): The original “Color War” for Signs of Fun was a BLAST!! From the parents’ comments, that was our best MessFest day ever, so we will continue next year our Color War event!
LETS HAVE A BALL
Mon: Let's Get this Ball Rolling
Tues: Don't Drop the Ball
Wed: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Thur: A Whole New Ball Game
We worked on idioms for the week, made bowling ball crafts, Ball jar crafts, and even had JJ Mime, a deaf mime, join us for the week!
Monday: “Fredericksburg Arts” artist, Chris O’Kelly, came to our camp to teach us about how to incorporate nature into our art/crafts time. He showed us his nature collage and then helped us make our own after we took our nature trail hike this morn.
Tuesday: Today was the beginning of our zip line adventures hosted by Wilderness Presidential Resorts. Our campers had a blast. I’m not certain if WPR zip line leaders will ever be the same! We made bamboo walking sticks to help us with our trekking adventures today.
Wednesday: Our in-house Santa Claus and Deaf community leader, Roy Collins, taught us about the many uses our paracord bracelets, bandanas and walking sticks could afford us.
Thursday: Today we were able to meet Redskins football player Mike Nelms. He shared a few tips on safety and teamwork, signed autographs and then played toilet paper football with us. It made our day to see he sports a pair of his own hearing aids!
Friday: We had fears of being rained out but drizzle cannot stop a gang of wild campers who want to get messy. We had many messy fun games such as “Find the Meatball” , which was really a kiddie swimming pool filled with oily cooked spaghetti and golf ball “meatballs” hidden underneath. Hot dogs were the fare for the day and everyone had a trekking good time!