Fun activities and amusing songs are both part of ‘Camp MI Way’ at HISD’s T.H. Rogers campus, but the focus of this three-week-long summer camp is not recreation—it’s communication.
“The purpose of Camp MI Way is to give students with multiple impairments a chance to practice and expand their skills in an atmosphere of fun,” said Deborah Carr, the executive director of Home Run Hitters International. “Opportunities for participation in multi-sensory camp experiences with an attentive personal counselor are rare for most of our campers.”
Campers are guided in various activities by student volunteers from both T.H. Rogers and other nearby private and public schools who act as counselors. Activities are designed to engage the five senses, so campers might be encouraged to smell something pleasant or touch a silky fabric and then be asked if they want to smell or touch it again. Trained counselors watch and wait for their answers.
Since many of the campers don’t communicate through speech, this gives them hundreds of opportunities to do so by using movements of their head, legs, and fingers.