Southland Silent Camp (Round 6)

Southland Silent Camp was a recipient of Round 6 of the NZSL Board funding.

The aim of this project was to build confidence in local Deaf to run a Silent camp for professionals, NZSL learners and parents of deaf children in Southland. Two Deaf community members attended another Silent camp to experience one for themselves and to make notes on how to do it.  A local camp was then organised and was held at Camp Columba, Pukerau, Southland in October 2020. The Silent camp was a mix of activities, games and presentations. 26 people attended

A group photo of the Camp attendees

Feedback from the camp

“I just wanted to share that I believe from the participants perspectives that this was a really wonderful and successful camp.  Huge hand waves to you all.” Josje Lelijvald


“I thought you were amazing to go head and set up the first Silent camp. It was successful and a good model for the rest of NZ. It’s rare to have parents, teachers of the deaf, teacher aides, Advisers on Deaf Children and Deaf people all together. You don’t see that happen often. So hats off to you all for having the initiative. Wow!” Rachel Coppage

"Loved the opportunity to discuss deaf culture and learn the language from first language signers"-  Georgia Bromiley


 "The chance to expand my use of NZSL and learn from others – it put my outside of my comfort zone but I grew so much in my understanding and wasn’t as scary as I thought! 

I really enjoyed hearing the laughter that would come out of the silence as we tried to sign what we wanted to say but we could communicate somehow" - Hannah Sim


"The engagement from everyone, to ensure everyone is feel warm and welcomed. The activities (all of them) was fantastic! There is nothing where I didn’t enjoy, lot of experience for me to understand their world (this is my first silent camp I’ve attended to). Overall, fantastic" -  Matthew Flynn


"Hearing from some of the Deaf adults and their stories was challenging to hear but really helpful from the perspective of a parent with the Deaf child.  All of the activities were valuable (even the drama ones!!).  The speakers had so much knowledge to share. Just being immersed in sign language for the whole weekend was really valuable. It was all really good" - Vicky Collard