Camp Shout Out values connecting with others as individuals through strong communication skills from the moment participants arrive.
The camp, held for approximately one week in August on Big Blue Lake in Holton, Michigan, engages children ages 8-18 who stutter in a state-of-the-art therapeutic experience and a selected group of trainees including speech-language pathologists and graduate students in a hands-on learning opportunity.
The therapy and training program is embedded within a traditional overnight, recreational summer camp where all participants stay throughout the week.The natural camp environment, noted for helping children make friends and take on new challenges, provides the perfect backdrop for enhancing Communicative Competence, defined as one’s ability and desire to be an Attentive, Assertive, Confident, Effective, and Proactive communicator in his or her unique way.
Although relatively young, Camp Shout Out's reputation has spread quickly around the globe, attracting campers and trainees from the United States and abroad, including Guatemala, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Turkey, New Zealand, and Canada. Since first opening, camper enrollment has doubled, with a camper return rate near 80% each summer.
Speech-language pathologists and graduate students arrive prior to campers and learn to apply critical thinking skills when assessing and treating young people who stutter. They engage in lecture, discussion, observation, team building, and hands-on application of various therapeutic approaches throughout the week in small as well as larger groups. They participate in other camp activities,and eat all meals with campers.
Daily themes provide the canvas for innovative activities throughout the day related to modifying communication, dealing with bullying, and understanding thoughts and feelings surrounding communication and stuttering. Careful support helps campers take risks, build confidence, and view themselves in new ways as communicators.
At Camp Shout Out, campers participate in an accepting community of peers who share similar struggles and interact with leaders and trainees in a motivating, enthusiastic atmosphere.
All are encouraged to become the best communicators they can be, and multiple opportunities are created daily to help them feel successful.
Countless daily interactions between all participants, walking and talking during transitions, climbing the rock wall, swimming, making things at the craft shack, watching the stars at night, or playing capture the flag with shaving cream, create an experience, lifetime relationships, and ongoing support hard to express in words.
We all can become better communicators and positively impact our lives and the world. Thank you for helping children who stutter and those who serve them on this path!
Together we are Building Communicators for Life!
(report adapted from article written by Kristin A. Chmela M.A. CCC-SLP, BCS-F)