Camp Diary 2012
Monday June 11th
I am not a morning person, so waking up at 7:00 was a shock to my
system. Once I could semi-function, we headed to breakfast. I sat
with Scott. In the calmer environment, I began to pick up on his
signing. It felt great to be able to communicate with him after
Monday morning is always camp photo time. The group is so big
that they actually split us into two pictures. Everyone was
wearing their team visors. I sat by Scott with my green visor. He
had on his red. Yeah, I'm flirting with the enemy. Oh, no!
After the picture, I talked with Andy for awhile. He's a sweet
guy. Then I met David. He's very talkative.
There are many activities at camp. They have hiking, biking, wall
climbing, art, boating, swimming, yoga class, aerobics, cooking
class, giant swing, massage, hair cuts, manicures and more. Each
camper can pick what they want to do.
I'm not fond of the "spa," but I needed a manicure. Truth is, I'm
a terrible nail biter. That causes embarrassing hangnails. I
wanted to make a better impression, since I'd be using tactile
sign language all week. So, I let my nails grow out for three
weeks before camp. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy.
My first activity was to get my claws in order. I had a 10:30
appointment, but the lady was late. We sat there waiting around
for a long time. I would have talked to Art, but he was sound
asleep in one of the chairs.
The woman finally arrived and did a wonderful job. She gave me
the real works, including a long soak and hand massage. That felt
The moment came, and I did something very unlike me. I picked
wild colors for my nails - red, white and blue. This was to match
my costume for Thursday night's party. By the time the manicure
was finished, we needed to head to the cafeteria for lunch.
I decided to spend the afternoon in the pool. We went to our
rooms to get ready for swimming. I like to swim for fun, but they
were also having a team competition. When I came out into the
hall, one of my SSP friend's said, "That is not a mom suit."
Well, of course not. I need to look good for all the blind guys.
The water was cold. David and I were standing in the shallow area
chatting when someone jumped into the pool right between us. The
person landed on our arms. Luckily, no one was hurt. We moved to
a safe corner to continue our conversation.
The competition was to find rings on the floor of the pool.
People with residual vision were supposed to keep their eyes
closed. I couldn't figure out how to play. My SSP had me walk so
I could feel when I stepped on a ring. I have no feel in my feet.
I could step on an elephant and not notice.
My SSP picked up a ring and put it in my hand as if I had found
it. I was dejected. I would have given up, but I wanted to help
I asked my SSP to tell me when we were in the general area of a
ring. I jumped into the air and then sank to the bottom of the
pool. I was so excited when I found my first ring on my own.
In all, I found five rings and one sponge. Sadly, not many people
from the green team showed up. So, despite my effort, we finished
in last place.
Then I did some free swimming. I like to float around with
noodles. I also had fun chatting with Scott again.
There's a deaf-blind support group right before dinner. I never
attend. I'd rather be doing something active and fun.
After dinner was the hay ride and camp fire. I have not been on a
hay ride at camp since the chiggers infestation in 2005. I
decided to give it another try. I wore jeans and a long sleeve
shirt and was practicality dripping with bug spray. The ride was
good, but I found myself lost in thoughts.
I had a S'mores at the camp fire. Talk about messy! My hands and
face were covered in chocolate and marshmallow and people wanted
to chat with me. It took a lot of wet paper towels to get me
some-what decent again.
Next, I had some wonderful popcorn. Other folks wanted to talk
with me, and they got my hands all messy again. That's how it is
at the deaf-blind camp fire.
We went to the meeting hall for a technology lecture. They had
speakers from the FCC, Maryland Rehab center and a Maryland work
training center. This stuff had nothing to do with me. I was
quite bored. My SSP's and I were goofing around in sign a lot.
Andy had some questions... He always does. I call him "Andy the
Question Man." He was discussing the need for people who are deaf
and deaf-blind to be able to send text messages to 911. The
speakers were giving him the run-around. They didn't know. Andy
wouldn't back down. I was kind of proud of him.
After snack, I went back to my dorm to take a shower. I hate
taking showers at camp! It's so hard for me to balance on the
shower chair, and I have to keep my shampoo and stuff on the
floor of the stall. It took me forever to finish that shower.
When I was done, I discovered my SSP had left the bathroom. It
didn't bother me. I was fine and patient enough to wait until she
came back. However, someone grabbed my arm and dragged me to the
sink. I signed that I was looking for the toilet... as in the
thing you pee in. I guess this woman didn't understand. She
dragged me out of the bathroom and down several corridors. She
thought I was looking for a person.
Laurie rescued me and got me back to my room. My SSP was in a
panic to find me. All worked out in the end, and I fell right to
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.