Saturday, June 27, 2009

Budget cuts close all but one camp for deaf children in Indiana

From FOX 28 TV:

Every child should have the opportunity to go to summer camp, but the economy is making that difficult for many hard of hearing and deaf kids in Indiana.

The Indiana Deaf Camp at Camp Mack in Milford, is the only camp of its kind left in the state.

For many campers, like 13 year old Alyssa Barrett this camp is something they look forward to all year.

Barrett says, "I was scared at first, but I met friends and some people who had experienced here and they helped me, and then I was able to fit right in."

More than 150 kids will attend this year's camp, the largest number since the camp started in 1973.

Through business and personal donations, the camp helps pay for children, who otherwise couldn't afford it.

Camp Director Phil Harden says, "When they come here, they will learn and see other people that are the same as them, and when they grow say I can become a confident deaf person."

Kids at this summer camp get to enjoy all the same activities like other camps, but Barrett says what makes this camp special are the friendships she forms here.

"My first time I came I saw many deaf signing and I met new friends and they talked all day long" says Barrett.

She says the donors who support the camp have given her life experiences she'll never forget, and she's grateful to them, "Maybe they can come visit and see for yourself and see what your support does for the kids"

This year's Indiana Deaf Camp will be July 5th through the 10th at Camp Alexander Mack in Milford.