Fifteen year old Ted had stuttered as long as he could remember. Ted had been teased by kids in his school and neighborhood, he was laughed at when he talked and in 4th grade his teacher marked him down on an oral report because of his stuttering.
Ted was looking forward to attending Camp Shout Out for his very first time. He said that he wanted to learn to be more social, see how other kids his age dealt with stuttering, and maybe learn some new strategies. Because of generous donations through globalgiving we were able to provide Ted with a full scholarship. He was packed and ready to go. The week before the start of camp, Ted's mom called to withdraw him from the camp roster, it seems that the family had car trouble and were not going to be able to drive him to camp, 5 hours from their home.
The camp staff quickly got together and made arrangements for Ted to fly to camp, using donations obtained through globalgiving. Ted, who had never flown before, boarded the plane and made his way to Michigan. That was the first but not the only couragous thing Ted did during his week at Camp Shout Out.
Ted joined 35 campers, speech-language pathologists, graduate students, volunteers, recreation staff, and faculty at the 3rd session of Camp Shout Out on Big Blue Lake in Muskegon County, Michigan. He participated in speech therapy embedded within everyday activities. He swam, climbed a rock wall, rode horses, slept in a cabin with his peers, went boating, built a rocket, and most of all, Ted COMMUNICATED! He shared perceptions and feelings about stuttering and about being bullied, with small groups and in front of the entire camp! Ted grew taller during his week at Camp Shout Out, both physically and emotionally!
When the camp session was over and everybody had transitioned back to their own schools and jobs we received a letter from Ted's mom:
"It just does not seem enough to just say "thank you." You all have truly touched Ted's life and to hear all of his positive experiences with camp and everybody he met, brings me to tears! We will be putting to good use the things that he has learned and looking forward to more information as it comes in. This experience was so amazing for him, that when he got up for his first day of school, he had no fear! He had a huge smile on his face and was ready to face this new chapter in his life! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!"
We wanted to share this story with you, because your donation helped to make a real and positive impact on this young man's life. If it were not for you and your contribution Ted would not have been able to attend Camp Shout Out and learn that the most important thing for him to do is to: KEEP ON TALKING!
We would like to give you a thank you and a Shout Out for helping to change the world for kids who stutter!
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