DCA hosted a great Family camp at Doxa’s Malmsbury camp on May 31 to June 2. The number of families who applied overwhelmed us. Twenty-two families attended with 32 kids with a variety of hearing losses, technologies, communication needs, cultures and locations.
There were many activities for the children to enjoy from rock climbing, finger painting, fort building to the giant swing. The youth team assisted with the activities, allowing the parents to relax, network and practice their Auslan.
Of the youth team, a parent said, “If my children grow up to be like them I will be very pleased.”
Parents/ caregivers were given the opportunity to attend an Auslan class. In the afternoon, parents shared their NDIS success stories and tips for improving their experience.
In the evening after dinner and ice cream, everyone was able to stamp their hand on the 2019 Family Camp Banner. The banner was a great bonding experience and will be a special reminder of the memories made.
After dinner, the youth team and volunteers were able to look after the kids whilst the parents attended a panel.
Greg Frost, camp extraordinaire and parent of a deaf child said, “Many years ago I attended a camp just like this when my child was 3. I remember they had a deaf guy talk about his successes and it really helped.”
The panel consisted of three young deaf people. Each young person had different schooling experience (mainstream school, school with a deaf facility and deaf school). They each spoke of their experiences at school, making friends, their parent’s role in advocating for them and their life after school.
Of the panel, Ruth said, “So many of us fight for our children hoping we are doing the right thing. I also need to remember to let Christian lead too, so that is a big thing I will take away from the panel.”
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The camp was a team effort and supported by our youth team, Tahlia, Nicollete and Victor. We also had three volunteers attend, Ash, Lauren and Lauren.
The interpreters Zara and Paul were exceptional.
The Doxa team were very accommodating, thank you to Jess and Nick.
The Family Camp was available to Victorian families at no cost through the generous support of the Department of Education and Training Victoria.