OUR WONDERFUL TEAM

ReBecca

ReBecca

Camp Director

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!!!

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Rebecca

Counselor

Hello, hello! My name is Rebecca. I have experienced Signs of Fun as a camper and this will be my fourth year as a counselor! I am looking forward to this summer!

Anyway, my two favorite parts about going to Signs of Fun camp are meeting new friends and ASL! Thanks to Signs of Fun Camp, I have met some of my best friends! And ASL, well, it's fun to learn and makes communication with others so much easier! I can't wait to meet all of you!

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Jessie

Counselor

Hello! My name is Jessie, I’m 16 years old, and I go to the Maryland School for the Blind in Baltimore, MD. I love my school, And my favorite subjects are math and reading. I am on the cheerleading, track and wrestling teams at school and I love it!

My other favorite thing is Signs of Fun Camp. This will be my 5th year coming to camp and I wouldn’t miss it. At camp, I like to fish and go swimming. I also like to make new friends and see old friends. Can’t wait to see everyone again this year!

Sign Language Course

MaryRose

Parent Instructor

Hi! My name is MaryRose Gonzalez. I was born Deaf and raised in a hearing family. This means I have a dual perspective. I can see where the parents struggle and where our campers crave role models within the deaf community. For these reasons, I am a Deaf mentor. I love showing families that acquiring language, though while a bit difficult, it can still be fun. There are so many cultural experiences I can help families obtain via my tutelage.

I am also a strong advocate for our deaf community. I am the President of the Virginia Association of the Deaf, am an Independent Living Skills instructor, and a family tutor/mentor for those just learning to navigate the deaf community.  I look forward to seeing your teens sign up to be a part of the Virginia Association of the Deaf when they turn 18.

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Abbie

Counselor - Interpreter

Hello! My name is Abbie, I’m a local interpreter and I’m thrilled to be volunteering with Signs of Fun again this Summer! My super power is being super silly!

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Lauren

Counselor

Hi there! My name is Lauren Gebstädt. I'm a 19 year old sophomore at Liberty University and am currently declared as an ASLI Major. I am so excited to be a counselor yet again his year, especially since SOF Camp is a wonderful opportunity for me to gain more experience within the Deaf/Hoh community. Can't wait to meet you all and to have a blast this summer!

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Noberto

Counselor

Tie on your capes, strap on your mask and get ready for an awesome week of camp fun! My name is Noberto. I’m an interpreting student from Virginia and I’m super excited to meet all you superheroes this summer. My super powers are giving mega high fives and the power to make anyone laugh!

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Ana

Assistant Camp Director

I'm back! Growing up in Signs of Fun camp was a wonderful experience. Now I'm back and hoping to lead us into thinking like the Super Heroes we truly are!

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Jordan

Counselor - Art

I’m Jordan Bennett from Bristow VA, and I was born hard of hearing due to Goldenhar Syndrome. I didn’t learn sign language until I was in high school, but now I use it every day to communicate! I currently attend Radford University and major in Art Education and minor in American Sign Language. Growing up I went to camp, but always with hearing people only, so it was pretty difficult to enjoy, but I’ve only been with Signs of Fun for a short time, and greatly enjoy working with the kids and helping them make art- with my hearing aids off!

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Bradley

Counselor

Hi my name is Bradley (B3). I've been a staff member for Acorn Acting Camp in MI for two years before moving to VA and becoming a counselor at Signs of Fun Camp! I can't tell you my favorite part because I just loved it all! Zipping through the trees with the other counselors after hours was SO MUCH FUN! I love helping the children discover the outdoors.  Gym was crazy with all of the games our gym leaders created. And swimming, don't get me started on swimming. I am the schedule keeper. I make certain we are NEVER late to swimming!

 

I cannot wait to meet you next year. You can't miss me. I think I'm the tallest counselor at SoF, so I'm easy to spot! 20/20 What do YOU envision?

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Shandalyn

Counselor

Hi, my name is Shandalyn. I am hard of hearing. My first time being a camp counselor has taught me what unconditional love truly means. I can be tired but still excited to volunteer for the kids who expect me to keep them entertained all day. They look so happy that even their eyes are smiling.

 

I am super excited to be back and reconnect with the children and staff here. Love you all and I will see you soon!

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Lizzy

Counselor

Hello! My name is Lizzy! I started learning ASL my Junior year of high school and continued learning ASL in college at Liberty University where I graduated with a BA in American Sign Language Interpreting. I love kids which is one reason why I love volunteering for this camp! My favorite part of camp is watching the kids light up with joy and laughter as they interact with other kids like themselves, whether they are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or learning ASL! It's a place where kids and counselors feel at home and have a blast for a week!

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Phillicia

Counselor - ASL Class

Hello! I'm Phillicia! I moved to Virginia from New York to attend Gallaudet University for grad school to study social work. Now I work as a mental health counselor for children in Fredericksburg, VA. During grad school I completed my internship with the wonderful ReBecca Bennett and thats how I found out all about Signs of Fun camp! I love ASL, and I am so excited for camp! 

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Heather

Assistant Camp Director

My name is Heather! I started learning ASL in undergrad at the University of Arizona (go wildcats!) where I graduated from their educational interpreting program. I continued my studies in the graduate college at Gallaudet University (go bison!). Now, I'm a school psychologist in central Maryland. When I'm not at work you can probably find me out and about with my fiancé and dog.

I started volunteering with Signs of Fun during summer 2018, where I found a home for one week every summer! I can't wait to see all the children and counselors every summer and have fun!

As lead counselor I not only provide guidance to our wonderful team of camp counselors, I also help with scheduling the day, drive the golf cart, and help with interpreting in a pinch.

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Ben

Counselor

Hi! My name is Ben. I'm a laid back, chillin kinda guy. Don't get me wrong, I'm very active too!  I enjoy hanging with the kids and socializing with everyone. I love to see the kids happy and help them feel at ease at Signs of Fun camp. My sense of humor is out of this world!

I started going to this camp when I was 13 years old and this will be my third year as a counselor!

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Jordan

Counselor - Gym

Hi, I'm Jordan! I started my ASL journey at Stafford High, with 2 ASL classes - and I haven't been the same since. Now, I'm a junior in the ASL and Interpreting program at Liberty University.

I've loved for working with kids (and getting my hands dirty), so I'm excited to be a part of Signs of Fun. Summer 2018 was my first year as a camp volunteer, after my (oddly perfectly timed) chance encounter with ReBecca Bennett who practically recruited me at my cashiering job. Ever since, I've continued to be so excited to work with such an amazing group of people, and can't wait to see new and old faces this summer!

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Arlene

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.

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Madi

Counselor

Howdy, howdy! I’m Madi. I’m a WV living, pastor that loves hula hooping, relationships, and sharing joy. I fell in love with ASL when I was in high school. After not practicing for years, I lost the language... I recently decided to re-learn and it's been an amazing journey! I was fortunate to discover Signs of Fun Camp in the summer of 2019 and I AM IN LOVE!

 

I’ve worked with teens and summer camps for over a decade and I must admit… The vision of SOF and how they unify the children and families is phenomenal! Plus, it was so much FUN! It was a blessing and I can’t wait to do it again! See y'all in 2020!

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Nalani

Web design Expert

Aloha! My name is Nalani. I was born in Hawaii and raised in Virginia, and I've been signing since I was about 8.  I graduated from Radford University in May 2021 with a major in Computer Science and a minor in ASL. I currently work as a software developer and I enjoy making websites in my free time (like this one!). That's my superpower... what's yours?