Since 2016 Camp Sol of the Deaf has provided a summer camp experience for deaf and hard of hearing children during the summer for free.
However due to Covid 19 camp organizers were forced to change your plans this year.
Instead of an in-person summer camp, Camp Sol of the Deaf is going virtual.
For one week starting on August 17 dozens of children will connect and learn online.
Sign1News anchor Jethro Wooddall got a chance to chat with camp founder and director Mayra Castro.
We found out not only is the camp designed to be fun and informative, it is also designed to be uplifting and inspiring for deaf children of color.
Be sure to watch the story to the end.
We will be providing a full screen graphic with all the information you need to register if you're interested in enrolling your child.
So what is Camp Sol?
Sol is the Spanish word for 'sun' which has several meanings. It's a very positive word for our young campers. It can represent happiness, unity, inspiration, identity, self-esteem. Those are all included in the word 'sol'.
When coronavirus hit, had we had to cancel the camp.
Before March we had to make a tough decision, think twice and follow New Jersey's Department of Health. After back-and-forth discussions we canceled the camp. And that was sad. But we didn't give up.
We made the decision to shift the Plan a and do online virtual learning. It was a great opportunity for the young campers since everyone was staying at home due to coronavirus.
That's a great idea! The camp is in New Jersey?
Yes it is in New Jersey. So does that mean the camp is only open for people in New Jersey or is anyone invited to come?
That's a good question. Initially it was only offered in New Jersey but since camp open three years ago, it is now open to everyone in the US. If it was just in the state of New Jersey, it would be a small number. But by inviting other states it achieves our goal of expansion. I recognize that some people still don't know about our camp so it is our responsibility to get the word out through PR. I vlog a lot. I'm sure people saw me on Facebook vlogging about the camp. Right now most kids are at home during the month of August anyway before school starts in August. Some kids start in September. So it was the right time to take advantage of the opportunity for kids to get together and have fun, enjoy themselves and meet BIPOC presenters. We've already brought in almost 25 presenters.
And soon the schedule will be complete. There's one last thing I want to add however. Our adult BIPOC Deaf role models were extremely critical in giving instruction, knowledge, building self-esteem, deaf culture plus language and culture as well. The BIPOC's are similar to the campers and are able to connect with them. Nowadays in school kids suffer because schools don't have POC instructors. There are several aides but not teachers, social workers and counselors. You don't see a lot of that and there's a bit of a delay in language acquisition. That breaks my heart. I grew up in an oral school and had delays in language acquisition and now I see it again in the youth today. That's one of the reasons we developed this camp.
Posted - 8.1.20
Camp Sol for the Deaf goes virtual!
Posted on 08/01/2020