By now, I bet most of you have signed up for summer camps, only a few short weeks away. Summer is usually a time for everyone to recharge, get out of the school routine, and most importantly, explore new interests!
It also means interacting with people you don’t see on a daily basis. Most who may or may not know that you are deaf or hard of hearing. As an introvert, I can understand the feeling of vulnerability when it comes to being approached and/or approaching new people. Here are some tips that might help:
#1 Prepare an Elevator speech
Elevator? What? What does that have to do with summer?
Imagine yourself stuck in an elevator with a bunch of strangers. 20 seconds. What would you say to them to break the ice? Use that to help introduce yourself! I promise you, the more you perfect it, it gets easier to use it in many different situations.
#2 Let camp counselors know
Be bold! Let them know as soon as you register. It will make a world of difference in how much fun you’ll have. You’ll have access to information (after all, information is power…). You can choose to let them know if you want them to let other camp goers know, or if you’d prefer to tell them yourselves using your elevator speech.
#3 Access when wet
Don’t forget to ensure you have access to information even when engaging in water activities! If you have an Aqua kit or another mechanism, use it!
Otherwise, work with your parents/camp counselors on how to ensure complete access during times when communication might be a challenge.
In other words…
Have a blast! Enjoy a summer of growth!
Whether your summer camps are for a day, a week or even overnight, just remember:
Being part of the fun also means being honest with everyone around you. Brené Brown puts it perfectly.
Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.