By Rabab Elbaharia
In the world of parenting, it is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. This sentiment is especially true when you are raising a child with a hearing difference. Families facing this challenge can greatly benefit from finding their own support networks and communities. Among many events supporting deaf and hard of hearing children, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) Summer Camp stands as a shining example of such a community. For families with hard of hearing children, this annual event is more than just a camp; it’s a lifeline, an opportunity to learn, grow and connect. It offers parents a unique opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another. The camp becomes the ideal platform for creating a strong support system, as it brings families with similar challenges together, creating a sense of belonging and unity.
At the heart of this summer camp is a focus on empowering the children with hearing differences. The camp staff is dedicated to boosting the confidence of these young individuals through various activities. A special talent show serves as a platform for the children to showcase their abilities, emphasizing self-expression and self-confidence. The camp also places a strong emphasis on team building activities. These activities not only foster collaboration but teach the children important life skills. A unique aspect of the camp is the opportunity to practice hearing advocacy skills. Camp staff ensure that children understand how to optimize their access to sound, using microphones and teaching strategies to reduce background noise. These skills are taught in a fun and engaging way, making learning a joyful experience.
One of the most remarkable features of the camp is its inclusive approach that involves the entire family. The camp experience extends beyond the hard of hearing child; it impacts their siblings and parents. It offers a chance for siblings with typical hearing to be immersed in their sister or brother’s community, educating them about the value of diversity and respect, while fostering empathy and understanding. This unique opportunity for the whole family to come together and share in the camp’s experiences strengthens the familial bonds and reinforces the message that differences should be celebrated, not stigmatized.
The CHHA Summer Camp has become a cherished tradition for many families. They eagerly anticipate the annual event, knowing that it is not just a fun escape from their daily routines but a vital component of their support system. The connections forged during these camps create a network of individuals who understand and support each other. The camp is a reminder that, as parents, it’s our duty to find our village, and the camp is one heartwarming village to be a part of. We hope to see you at the CHHA Summer camp next year, where new memories and friendships will continue to be forged in the spirit of unity and empowerment.
For more information about the CHHA summer camp please visit: https://chha-bc.org/