Batesburg Leesville, SC (WLTX)- There is a summer camp for the children who are hard of hearing or deaf in Leesville.
It's called Camp Wonder Hands, and it's been going on for 22 years.
"The goal of Camp Wonder Hands is to afford an opportunity where hard of hearing, and deaf children come together, and their deaf culture is celebrated," says camp director E.T. Taylor.
The camp has all the fun and physical activities that you'd find at any other camp. The difference is here, these kids get some peace-of-mind. They're hanging around other children that they can relate to.
Taylor says, "They are able to come together and to participate with children of like experience, self esteem building for them, because they also get to partner with hard of hearing and deaf adults."
One of those counselors is Canae Weiss. She was the American Ballet Theatre's first deaf dancer.
Canae does sign language as her interpreter speaks, "It was a challenge yes, I must admit, but they were very impressed with my skills. They had never seen a deaf ballerina. So really I'm very proud of myself, it was quite an accomplishment."
She came all the way from Minneapolis to show these kids what they can achieve despite any obstacles.
She signs, "We're talking about the importance of character. For example, patience, courage, honesty, responsibility, respect. and all these are very important to the development of a camper. And they should be thinking about that, learning how to develop social skills as well."
Taylor says, "So it shows them that just because they're hard of hearing or deaf, does not mean that hey can't be successful, they can't set their goals and achieve those goals, no matter what they are."
They're learning some of the most important life lessons, while doing it among peers. Kids like Wilee Brooks, who, on day one, is already planning his camp trip next year.
Wilee says, "I'm gonna be sixteen years old when I come back[next year], and it's going to be really exciting to come back here and see the same faces, and to talk to everybody. And I'm going to be really happy about that. This is the greatest camp I could ever be in."