CSD of South Dakota: The Importance of Summer Camp

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Shared experiences shape lives

Every year, CSD of South Dakota hosts a summer camp for deaf and hard of hearing youth across the state. Campers get together in eastern South Dakota to spend time in nature, play team-building games, participate in traditional camp activities (think s’mores), and more.

Summer camp is a great experience for kids to meet people outside of their typical social circle and spend time with people to who they can relate. For deaf and hard of hearing youth, summer camps aren’t usually accessible – which is what makes CSD of South Dakota’s camp so important. This camp is the perfect opportunity for students across the state of South Dakota to meet and spend time with their true peers.

Lance and Brooke at a tutoring session

A Clear Impact

On #GivingTuesday, Holly Roggow, a mother of a former camper, shared the change she saw in her daughter after finding CSD of South Dakota’s D/HH youth camp. You can read her recollection below.

I wanted to share Brooke Roggow’s story about deaf camp and the impact it has had on her life. Brooke attended a deaf camp in Minnesota when she was in fourth grade. It was her first experience at a camp and away from home. She returned home from camp and told me “Mom, did you know there are other deaf kids like me?” This shocked me that she thought she was the only kid, like herself, who was profoundly deaf and used sign language. It was my first time realizing the importance of her having the experience of being with other deaf and hard of hearing peers.

Brooke went back for camp every summer and it is some of the fondest memories she has. She was able to connect with other kids, like herself, and be in an environment where the language was not a barrier. She gained so much self-confidence and knowledge about the deaf culture from these experiences.

South Dakota hasn’t always been known for having the best resources for deaf children in the past years. I am excited to say that South Dakota is now offering a deaf camp for kids! This program is vital to our deaf children in South Dakota so that they get a chance to meet other friends and have a chance to experience a place where everyone is just like them. This fosters self-esteem and gives them an opportunity to make friendships with kids. We are a rural area and most of our deaf and hard of hearing kids grow up in communities being the only kid who is deaf. This opportunity for community and growth is so important! I can honestly say Brooke’s experiences at camp each summer ultimately changed her life.

Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD) is hosting the camp here in South Dakota and can use your help today to fund this amazing opportunity for the deaf and hard of hearing kids in South Dakota and the states around! Lance Sigdestad is our representative for CSD here in Aberdeen and has been a rock to Brooke Roggow and me in supporting us in many areas. Teaching us sign language, assisting in community activities that Brooke was in, holding deaf socials and so much more.

 

Please consider giving to CSD and the camp. Thank you!

– Holly K. Roggow, Brooke’s Mother

Get Involved and Make an Impact

While the stories listed above are just a few examples of the impact CSD of South Dakota has, there is always an opportunity to do more. With your support on #GivingTuesday we can do just that. Make a donation today and make an impact.

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