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Cue Camp Virginia

Reflections of a First Timer

Cue Camp Virginia: Reflections of a First Timer

Story taken from NCSA, One Cue, volume 26, issue 1, spring 2012

By Diana Khoury

I honestly had no idea what to expect when I went to Cue Camp Virginia last August. It was only three weeks earlier that I began working as a Cued Language Transliterator (CLT) with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). I had previously thought cue camps were only for people who were already fluent in cued American English, such as CLTs or deaf adults. I was terrified at the prospect of complete silence and at having to potentially rely on my subpar cue-reading skills for the whole weekend!

Luckily, my worries dissipate dwhen I saw many people I had already met or heard of. People cued, spoke,and signed, and the camp was well organized. I didn’t have any problems trying to figure out when and where I was supposed to be.

Even at first glance, I could tell the camp had a great sense of inclusion. As a new comer,the community seemed like an old family. I thought most people knew each other or had long standing friendships; however, I discovered that the majority of participants were new cuers. Consequently, everyone there was very accepting and excited for people to come together to learn a new way to communicate and, of course, have a fun time at camp!

The best part of the experience was meeting new people: people from all over the country with a variety of amazing life stories. There were people from every walk of life, from deaf adult cuers or hearing parents whose children were born deaf, to young kids whose classmates and friends are deaf.

Cue Camp Virginia had classes for all different skill levels. Since the camp was well organized, it was easy to be placed in the appropriate class. The children were put into classes by age group, and the adult classes ranged from introductory (basic) to advanced, allowing people of all levels to work on their cueing fluency.

During the down times, there was always something fun to do. In one weekend, I relived my childhood days with a moon bounce, kayaks, and a bonfire (complete with s’mores and tie-dyed t-shirts)! I highly recommend going to the after-hours activities and parties. While the classes are great, being able to cue with others in a social and relaxed atmosphere takes the stress out of focusing on improving fluency.

The Jamestown 4-H Educational Center, where CCVA was held was beautiful. The sky seemed to stretch out indefinitely over the James River. While most of the food was typical camp food, we were treated to an outdoor barbecue one evening. Being from Georgia, I have high standards for barbecue, and CCVA’s far surpassed my expectations!

The weekend turned out to be exciting and educational. I can’t wait to go back next year to see some old and new faces!

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