Let the battle begin! The BC Buddies family battled it out during lazer tag and we mended any broken alliances over a tasty lunch. This event highlighted how planning ahead and knowing your venue can be a strategy to create events that are enjoyable for all.
Although BC Buddies encourages teamwork, we still appreciate some friendly competition! Participants and staff duked it out on separate teams during lazer tag and the competition got intense. At every corner, you looked to your front and back to make sure your enemy was not stalking you. The “battle stadium” was pitch black except for the glowing vests and the glow-in-the-dark boulders. One important teaching moment occurred during our safety and instructional debriefing. At the time of booking, our staff mentioned that we would be coming in with students who had varying degrees of hearing levels. We asked for a separate debriefing (there were other large groups in the facility), so the lazer tag staff could speak slower and louder and we could have our sign language interpreters interpret. It was very dark in the room so we used a cellphone flashlight to illuminate the interpreter’s hands and the lazer tag staff’s lips (for speech reading). This helped ensure that all of our attendees felt comfortable with how to play and navigate their way inside the battle stadium.
After some sweat-producing battles, we walked over to the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant to feed our hunger. Our organizers phoned in prior to book a table that was closer to the edge of the restaurant where it would be quieter. Background noise (especially in a noisy restaurant) can make conversation challenging even if the person is sitting right across from you. One key learning moment was when we made sure all of the youth ordered their own food by speaking to the waiter themselves. Often times when children go to a restaurant with their families, their parents do the ordering and we felt it was important that the students gain the confidence in ordering their own food. Moreover, for some individuals who are hard of hearing, speaking to strangers can be anxiety provoking so we wanted to build their verbal communication skills.
This was our final BC Buddies event of the year and we would like to thank all of our participants, parents, volunteers, and community partners for helping make this year a success. For this event we would like to thank our two Douglas College student sign language interpreters, Katie and Monica. We hope everyone has a great rest of the year and we look forward seeing you all very soon.
Written by Allison Lui