A Few Highlights From CampedUP

Are your kids having a great camp experience this summer? This year, Sonya returned to CampedUP, a summer program for kids of all ages (and their hearing siblings) who have cochlear implants and hearing aids. Founded by teachers of the deaf, CampedUP ensures that all kids have a great day camp experience in a listener-friendly environment.

Here are some highlights…

group with snake

The first week of camp, Sonya enjoyed a hands-on reptile show! A wildlife educator introduced these city campers to all kinds of reptiles including turtles, frogs and even a yellow boa constrictor! I am still in shock that Sonya was so brave to wear this snake as a necklace!!

The next week didn’t disappoint. Sonya was thrilled to learn she would get to play with  two “special guests” that week, who turned out to be none other than Disney Princess Sophia and Prince James! “The real ones, mommy, not pretend!” she told me. The Prince and Princess helped the kids decorate crowns and then they all enjoyed a royal ball!

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decorating crowns

Despite a rainy third week, the CampedUP counselors made sure the kids had plenty to do. Counselors dressed up as clowns and did face painting (in a cute, not scary way) 🙂

The kids played the Pie Face Game, and even made balloon animals. Stephen Wise, where the camp is held, has a great indoor playground where the campers could still burn off steam, despite the rain. When the sun finally came back, the campers spent the afternoons on the rooftop playground where they played water games and climbed the jungle gym.

Marvel

For the last week of Camped UP, founders Dana Selznick and Brittney Prell had one more very special surprise in store. Marvel’s newest superheroes Blue Ear and Saphera visited the campers. These heroes have special hearing powers because of their cochlear implants. Dana told me that when Blue Ear and Saphera told the kids about their special hearing powers, the kids also shared their own powers, including: hearing Santa.

super heroes

The superheroes truly connected with the kids. So amazing 🙂

That night, Sonya transformed into “Super Sonya!” Protector of her toys.

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Above all, Sonya made such incredible friendships this year. We are so thankful for Dana, Brittney and their wonderful team of hearing education specialists and counselors who are creating such a strong Oral Deaf Community in New York City.

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For Sonya’s upcoming birthday, instead of gifts, we ask that friends consider donating to this wonderful camp. Donations will go toward scholarships so that any child can attend CampedUP. Check it out, here:

https://www.gofundme.com/manage/sonya039s-fourth-birthday

Author: Missy Kvitko

Born in Fargo, North Dakota, I grew up in Minnesota. After graduating from Macalester College in 2004, I moved to New York City. For 10 years I worked in the field of public relations, representing professional services firms and financial services (in particular alternative asset managers) In 2014, my life changed dramatically with the birth of my first child, Sonya Rose. Born with severe to profound hearing loss. Sonya's care has become my full time job. It is also the best job I have ever had. My husband, Sonya and I live in Manhattan. Please feel free to email me anytime at missy.kvitko@gmail.com, or find me on instagram (@mmkvitko) and twitter (@HearSonyaRose). Thank you so much for reading.

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