Editor’s Note: Directions to the camp included. Feel free to call for activity times.
EVENT: Camp Wonder Hands, led by Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, offers summer camp experience for hard-of-hearing and deaf children.
WHEN: Sunday, June 24 through Friday, June 29
WHERE: Camp Kinard, near Batesburg-Leesville
FACTS: The camp began 22 years ago in the kitchen of Marolyn Amick, who wanted to provide a summer camp experience for her deaf son, Scott, and other deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Camp Wonder Hands has grown to become a five-day overnight camp for hard-of-hearing and deaf children ages 7-15. Some of the original campers now serve as counselors. Campers from across South Carolina and surrounding states will attend next week’s free camp. Campers are sponsored by scholarships provided by Children’s Hospital and private, civic or corporate donations.
Many of the children who attend Camp Wonder Hands cannot speak, so communications skills such as sign language, lip-reading, facial expressions and touch are used. The camp requires a higher ratio of staff to campers because sign language interpreters will be with the children at all times and their assistance is required for every activity.
“We’re excited about having a ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’ theme this year,” said camp director E.T. Taylor, RN, BSN. “We also have Canae Weiss joining us for the week. She is a deaf dancer, choreographer and teaching artist from Minnesota who was the American Ballet Theatre’s first deaf dancer.” Activities include bowling, baseball and roller skating, motorcycle rides, and favorites such as arts and crafts, campfires, swimming, canoeing and volleyball. The culmination is Thursday’s Celebration Night from 7-8 p.m. where each cabin presents a talent presentation they have prepared and creative awards are presented.
Directions to Camp Wonder Hands:
The Kinard Conference Center is approximately seven miles south of Batesburg-Leesville and 20 miles west of Columbia. From Columbia, take I-20 toward Augusta. Turn off I-20 at Exit 44 (Road 34) and go towards Batesburg-Leesville for four miles. Turn left on Two Notch Road. The entrance is one mile on the left.