This past weekend, I had a really great time at my first-ever RI Silent Camp experience! Voices off, great people, camping in the woods, swimming in the lake, fun games and activities, ropes course and team building, lots of laughs, ASL and PT stories by the campfire … it was a lot of fun, and a really great ASL immersion experience.
I encourage any signing friends to attend next summer’s Silent Camp!
— Jenny 2021 (Staff)
One of my favorite days of the year. As this weekend comes to an end, I’m reminded again how lucky I am to work in a field I love so much. It has truly changed my life and it really all started with a little weekend here. I continue to learn more and more each and every year and it just gets better and better.
— Alicia 2021 (Staff)
Had an awesome time at Silent Camp this year. With it being my first time ever being completely immersed in ASL I’m surprised to say I have never felt more comfortable in my life to make a million mistakes and still be understood and loved by a community. These two days were short but the friendships will last a lifetime Thank you to all who were so inviting to have me join in on this adventure in life!
— Kaity 2021 (First Year)
My first year going to OFFICIAL RI SILENT CAMP 2021 it’s a great event to communicate without using our voice for a weekend! ASL and the Deaf community is so beautiful i had a fantastic time!!— Bryce 2021 (First Year)
This past weekend I had the great pleasure to attend another awesome weekend at the Official Rhode Island Silent Camp. I would like to thank the staff for doing all the hard work to pull this marvelous event together. It was such an amazing learning experience and gave my signing skills a much-needed tune-up. After we turned off our voices, we played some hilarious games which at first seemed quirky but actually had a purpose relating to signing skills, and they also helped break the ice and new friends were made in the process.The next day the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for some team building at the ropes course and swimming in the beautiful lake. If you’ve never played steal the watermelon in waist deep water with a watermelon covered with vegetable shortening you are missing out on lots of fun and laughter and a good show. I highly recommend it.
Dinner was a cookout followed with roasting marshmallows over a campfire, eating s’mores and lots of ASL stories.Before the weekend was done we gathered to count down turning our voices back on but it was bittersweet as we heard testimonies’ from many of the Deaf, Deaf blind attendees and CODA’s about the blantant discrimination from respected professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers. And it happens in work places, in restaurants, walking down the street, and within families. So WE need to do better, and find ways to lift one another UP instead of tearing down those whose life is already difficult enough without hearing and vision.
—Lisa 2021 (repeat camper)
I feel that my attendance at the Silent Camp made me a better person and more aware of the problems encountered by the Deaf.
It’s wonderful to reconnect with friends and make new ones in an ASL immersive environment. I really like that because voices are off, it can be difficult to tell who is Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Hearing. It’s just pure communication. I love the storytelling around the campfire and learning new signs. I look forward to returning every year.
Rhode Island Silent Camp 2015 was the first year I attended. I love ASL. It has brought me so many amazing places and has allowed me to do so many amazing things! There are no words to describe what happened over the weekend. This camp challenged us in every single way possible. Not only did I make lasting friendships in just 3 days, but I met so many different wonderful and generous people who all share the same thing. Silence brought us together that weekend and I am forever grateful for the experience for introducing me to each and every one of you. I would recommend this Camp to anyone from someone who is just learning sign language, to someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. It was just so humbling to hear the stories of all the new friends that I met and to get even just a glimpse of what it’s like to live in a silent world. There is no question of whether or not I will be back for Rhode Island Silent Camp 2016.
— Alicia (First Year)
Silent Camp is an amazing experience. In 2006 I graduated from Bristol Community College with an Associates Degree in Deaf Studies. I didn’t know where life would take me but I knew that I loved ASL and Deaf Culture. I have continued to use my ASL on and off since then but unfortunately do not use it as much as I would like to. In 2014, I signed up for Rhode Island Silent Camp and even though I live in the Boston area and I did not know anyone, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go anyway. Making that decision was incredibly scary, although I knew I was conversational in the language, I would be forced to immerse myself (which I had not done in years) and do it with people that I had never met. I had such an amazing experience the first time, so I chose to go back again this year and my experience was even better! Being around so many positive people and bouncing culture, language, constructive criticism, experiences and stories off of one another is just indescribable. The individuals that attend are people that are Deaf, hard of hearing, D/deaf-blind, hearing, students, interpreters, educators, CODA’s, etc. but everyone that attends is a lover of the language and the atmosphere. While making lasting friendships, you have the opportunity to test yourself on the high ropes, low ropes and an array of outdoor activities as well as ASL games. Everyone is willing to help you to learn signs, vocabulary and concepts that you may struggle with during the weekend. Both times that I attended Rhode Island Silent Camp, I felt like I was in this surreal, incredibly positive world of ASL and Deaf Culture. Laughter, incredible amounts of laughter, was shared by all. I cannot say enough about Rhode Island Silent Camp. I cannot wait to go back next year!
— Laurel (Second Year)
Life changing! How I loved this camp! I am counting down the days until next year!!!! Met a lot of wonderful people and was able to learn more skills ! I felt so completely comfortable ! Everyone was so welcoming and ready to help! No judgement zone! You have offered an amazing weekend for all! I thank you!!!
— Janette (First Year)
Before I arrived at the camp Saturday morning I didn’t really know what to expect. I have been signing since I was 5 years old as I am a RISD alumnus so it wasn’t new and I didn’t have any signing jitters or anything. After being invited to this camp I honestly assumed that I was going to be playing the interpreter role for many people especially when they get nervous and say something like “aahhh I need help!!!!” or “sign for me.” So I was prepared to help out anyway I can. Upon arriving to the camp it turned to be the total opposite of what I thought. I was surprised once I saw almost everyone signing without breaking a sweat. I was in shock. I was so impressed that I didn’t really have to do any interpreting but just blend in. I never seen a group that showed so much love, effort, and passion in learning sign language. I grew up in a hearing community/environment and I rarely see that and this past Saturday was an eye opening experience for me and I just wish I have spent more time at the camp. Thank god there’s next year. Thank you all and god bless.
— Sean (First Year)