Volunteers, volunteer counselors, campers and community support are needed for Camp Wonder Hands, a six-day, five-night camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing children ages 7-15. Held at Camp Kinard, near Batesburg-Leesville, the camp is a program of Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands and is set for June 21-26. The deadline for counselor applications is March 9 and March 30 for campers.
Camp Wonder Hands is offered at no cost to campers. To serve as a volunteer or volunteer counselor, a person does not have to be deaf, hard-of-hearing or have the ability to sign. Training is provided during an orientation session held just prior to the camp.
Children like Elliott Germany have been helped by attending Camp Wonder Hands. The first time he was invited he was very reluctant. “He’s very shy around strangers, so it was hard to persuade him to go,” said Elliott’s mother, Carla Germany.
Elliott is the youngest of Carla’s four children and she learned during Elliott’s newborn screening that he was deaf. He had cochlear implant surgery when he was 15 months old, but the first sound he heard after the surgery was a fire truck with the sirens blaring, so he refused to wear the cochlear until he started school.
Now 16, Elliott has attended Camp Wonder Hands for the past nine years. “He absolutely loved his first experience there and now looks forward to it every summer,” said Carla. “He loves interacting with the other kids.”
Elliott signs and speaks and likes having an interpreter. “He appreciates having an interpreter so much that we arranged to have one at his grandfather’s funeral,” said Carla. “It’s amazing what you learn about your child as he grows up.”
Elliott especially loves the water sports at camp and also enjoys making arts and crafts. He attends the School for the Deaf and Blind in the Upstate and wants to work in a library after he finishes school. “He loves to be helpful,” said Carla.
Carla encourages parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children to consider Camp Wonder Hands. “Your child will have a great time,” she said. “We heard about it from a friend and we are so thankful to have this opportunity for Elliott.”
For more information about Camp Wonder Hands, call 803-296-KIDS (5437) for information and applications or visit PalmettoHealthChildrens.org/WonderHands. Camp Wonder Hands is fully funded by community donors through Prisma Health Midlands Foundation. To support Camp Wonder Hands, visit PrismaHealthMidlandsFoundation.org or call 803-434-7275.
About Prisma Health Children’s Hospital-Midlands
Prisma Health Children's Hospital–Midlands is South Carolina’s first children's hospital and has more than 150,000 children’s visits each year. It offers more than 30 subspecialties to meet the unique health care needs of children and has central South Carolina's only Children’s Emergency Center. With more than 350 professionals who work exclusively with children, Prisma Health Children's Hospital has a team of highly skilled and trained experts unmatched by any hospital in the Midlands. Prisma Health Children's Hospital is the place to go for children's medical care, because the best care matters.