Deaf Summer Camp for High School students

On the 22nd January 2018, 12 camp leaders, 2 NZSL interpreters and 51 Deaf and hard of hearing high school students from all over New Zealand assembled at Palm Grove Christian Camp on the Kapiti Coast for the New Zealand Deaf Summer Camp.

Group activity with swing and bucketOver 5 days, the students participated in workshops and activities, developed confidence, and understanding of those with different language levels. As a result, they bonded with each other, achieved new feats and developed key life skills. On the final day, the students exchanged contact details with their new friends and, returned home with their new found confidence.

On the final day, the leaders obtained feedback from the students and the findings showed that 77% of the students rated the camp as being “awesome”. 48% of those students mentioned they liked meeting new people and making new friends.  A vast majority of them said that they enjoyed the variety of activities, with some adding that they tried their best, overcame their fears, and achieved something new. Several mentioned that they enjoyed signing, communicating and developing their Deaf pride. 75% of the students said that they would register again for another Deaf Camp, while 20% said that they would think about it.

After the camp, the Organising Committee met up with many of the students. Many of them were asking whether there would be another camp and if so whether they would be able to attend. This was a strong indication that the interest in another camp is high, which was also reiterated by parents’ who expressed a desire in sending their children again. The camp leaders discussed the positive impact the camp had on Deaf students and its value in nurturing potential Deaf leaders and benefit to both the Deaf and Hearing communities.

The New Zealand Deaf Summer Camp would not have been made possible without the support of the Combined Boards of van Asch and Kelston Deaf Education Centres and the NZSL Board. The camp organising committee worked together passionately for 8 months.

Group activity

Group activity with bucket

Group activity on horizontal stilts

Group activity in a circle with chairs

Starting a group activity with the instructor

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