Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Silent Summer Camp 06

* Originally Posted June 13, 2006

We just got back from Silent Summer Camp in Fort Worth, Texas. I got to be a counselor and Shelby was a camper. Our goal for the camp was to expose both of us to ASL and to use it. It is the best way to learn and practice any language. We definately got to do that this past week!

It took me the first few days to figure out what the kids were saying. I'm so used to signing and talking together that when we were just using ASL I got lost. It was a really good experience for me. By the end of the week, though, I felt I could communicate easier and not so frustrated.

We got to go horseback riding, fishing and canoeing at the YMCA camp, Fort Worth Zoo, Six Flags, Science Museum and OMNI theater, and swimming. We had a really good time. It was well planned out and lots of fun.

We made some new friends that I hope Shelby will be able to see again. I also made friends that I hope to stay in touch with. My favorite part of the whole week was seeing the kids use the language. I found it really cool. Can't think of another word to describe it.

I also got to see Shelby change how she signed. The beginning of the week she mostly hung out with the adults and used more voice than sign until she figured out that everyone knew how to sign and she didn't need to voice here. Slowly she started to mingle with the kids and stopped voicing. They called her "Bossy" because she told everyone what to do regardless of the fact that she was only 3' tall. Which also gained her the nickname "Bulldog" so lovingly given to her by the paramedic.

We really had a good time and I am going to miss it next year since we will no longer be in Texas.

Thanks Stephanie for a great week!

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