Just days before The Discovery Channel’s 2019 Shark Week commenced, it was fins up at Cross Creek Ranch on Thursday, July 25. It seems that the annual Callier Center for Communication Disorders’ Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp for kids with cochlear implants had locked on to the shark theme. Suggested by volunteers, it was so perfect for the kids and counselors. Why, some of the counselors even wore red shorts and T-shirts reading “Lifeguard.” Instead of the usual metal lockers, oversized buckets with painted sharks were used to stow backpacks.
And Ma Nature played along. Not only were the temperatures in the high 80s, the season’s earlier rain had filled the pond, providing kids and counselors the opportunity to fish. (Editor’s note: no fish was harmed in the day’s outing.)
While it may have looked like a typical summer camp, this one was unique. Each of the campers had cochlear implants that allowed them hear. As for the staffers, they were hearing and speech-language therapy specialists. This time together not only allowed the two groups to have fun, but it also allowed them to connect with each other.
In the ranch’s play shed, youngsters made papier-mâché fins and juggled connecting bottles of waters to create bubbling blue delights. Under a tree-shaded area, a relay race was underway including an egg-on-a-spoon walk-around, a hula hoop challenge, a limbo dance and a ring-around–the-shark toss.
Watching all the activities were the Callier Foundation board members Tricia George, Beth Thoele, Bennett Cullum and Anne McPherson, whose son John McPherson was a counselor this year. Also taking in the day’s fun were Aninta and AJ Bhakta, whose late daughter Shreena Bhakta had once been a camper. Knowing the importance and joy that Shreena had experienced finding fellow cochlear implants recipients, her Delta Zeta sorority sisters and her parents had created funding to send a child to the Callier Center for Communication Disorders’ summer camp in her honor.
For more fins and fun, check out MySweetCharity Photos Gallery.