FAQ TEEN (Frequently Asked Questions for Teen Camp)
About Teen Camp
For SSP (Volunteers) Only
For Campers Only
What is the purpose of the organization?
The purpose of organization is to empower people who are DeafBlind through equal opportunities to live fully and productively, including full access to employment, technology, education, and to enable socialization to reduce isolation.
What is a Support Service Provider (SSP)?
Support Service Providers (SSPs) provide support that enhances independence (e.g. facilitating environmental communication, providing sighted guidance).
What is an Interpreter?
An interpreter is a professional trained infacilitating from 1 language to another language.
What is an Intervener?
An intervener is similar to a SSP, but will help DeafBlind individuals make decisions.
What is a Personal Care Attendant (PCA)?
Personal Care Attendant (aka Caregiver) assist with the non-medical tasks that a person cannot safely or comfortably do alone. e.g. bathing, feeding, dressing, or such.
How is the organization funded?
We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempted organization. Currently the camp fees cover only a small portion of the operating cost. The remainder of the costs comes from donations. If you are interested in making a donation, click here.
About Teen Camp:
Is the camp for Texas residents only?
Since 2018 is our pilot year, it will be restricted to Texans only. If successful, we will open it to anyone in the world!
Where is the camp held at?
Variety’s Peaceable Kingdom Retreat at 19051 FM 2484, Killeen, TX 76542 (1 hour north of Austin).
A curriculum has been developed to provide transitional services and prepare DeafBlind teenagers for the real world. The services include the following; Communication Skills, Social Interaction Skills, Recreation Skills, Use of Assistive Technology, Orientation and Mobility, Independent Living Skills, Visual Efficiency Skills, Self-Determination, Self-Advocacy, Job Exploration Counseling, and Work-based Learning experiences. The curriculum supports the goals of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC).
Everyone is responsible for finding their transportation. Transportation to and from the camp will be provided at only 3 locations in Austin; the airport, Greyhound Bus Stop, and MegaBus Bus Stop. If you are accepted, a transportation form with more details will be shared with you.
Do I need to pay for a ride?
Transportation to and from the camp will be provided for free at only 3 locations in Austin; the airport, Greyhound Bus Stop, and MegaBus Bus Stop.
What time can I arrive at camp and leave the camp?
The schedule is currently being developed.
Can camp accommodate a person with mobility difficulties?
Camp has ramps in all the buildings and there are several shower stalls which are wheelchair accessible with drop-down seats. However, please remember that this is camp, so although the trails are paved, they are uneven. Camp will also try to install a rope system to increase independence during the week.
Can I come for only one or two days?
No, we do not allow part-time campers or volunteers due to insurance reasons.
10. Can I visit my friends at the camp?
No, we do not allow visitors due to insurance reasons.
11. How much money will I need at camp?
All meals and activities are included. You will need extra money only for camp merchandise or possible trips.
12. What happens if I am injured during camp?
We do have a registered nurse on site. We can store medications that need to be refrigerated. You are responsible to bring and take your medicines. We cannot administer prescription medications without a prescription. However, if more assistance is needed, there is an urgent care facility and a hospital nearby. It is important to complete the emergency contact page on your application. Participants are responsible for any cost incurred for hospitalization and urgent care visits.
13. What do I do if I cannot eat the food provided?
Please be sure to note on your application if you have any dietary restrictions. All food allergies are considered during the meal preparations. Alternative options may be requested. A salad bar and a variety of drink choices are served at every meal as well. If you must follow a very strict diet, you may bring your own food; there are refrigerators available for you.
14. How can I keep in touch with my family during camp?
You can contact your family at any time using your personal device. Your family and friends can also see updates on our Social Med.
15. What activities are available at camp?
Art & Crafts, Bonfire, Dancing Party Cooking Class, Horseback Riding, Miniature Golf Course, Nature Center & Hiking, Scuba Diving, Sightseeing, Sport Court, Swimming, Slip N’ Slide, Zip Line & High Ropes (Wheelchair Accessible), and more!
Teen Camp provides career exploration with career speakers who are DeafBlind, college presentations on post-secondary options, work-based learning experience gained through interviews of speakers who are DeafBlind, Social and Interpersonal Skills are taught to build and strengthen soft skills, Independent living skills are taught during various activities at camp, and skills in self advocacy are taught during the week.
Financial Aid and Costs:
Where can I apply for financial aid?
Some examples of who you may contact for financial aid:
If you have an open case with the state, you are strongly encouraged to contact your case manager or point of contact. We will be happy to answer any questions.
Where will I sleep?
There are three (3) available lodges.
All DeafBlind Campers will be placed at the main house. There are two (2) bedrooms with a total of fourteen (14) bunk beds each. Some are full-sized while others are twin-sized. Each bedroom will come with their own bathrooms. The gentlemen will be placed in the right bedroom while the ladies will be placed in the left bedroom. The main house is also mobility accessible.
All SSP volunteers will be placed at the retreat’s two (2) log cabins (adjacent to each other). Each cabin has a total of nineteen (19) beds; a loft with five (5) twin-sized beds, twelve (12) twin-sized bunk beds, and a backroom with two (2) twin-sized bunk beds. Each cabin also comes with two (2) toilets, showers and sinks, and a small kitchen with a refrigerator. It is possible males and females will be mixed together in both cabins. There will be female and unisex bathrooms to share.
Bed linens will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own.
Can I do laundry during camp?
No, there is no laundry service.
Is there a TTY or VRS booth at camp?
No, but there is a phone in every building for emergencies.
Is there internet service?
Yes, there is WiFi at camp but it is a weak signal. However, you will be having so much fun that you will forget about checking in!
For SSP (Volunteers) Only:
When can I apply for camp?
The number of DeafBlind individuals we accept GREATLY depends on every volunteer’s full commitment to the entire duration of the camp. The sooner, the better! The applications are open in January.
How will I know if I am accepted?
We will start sending out the acceptance package on May 1st to all volunteers. If the camp is full, the coordinator(s) will contact you to ask if you want to be placed on a wait list.
What if I apply and change my mind?
Please let us know IMMEDIATELY. We will be sad, but we will understand. As a friendly reminder; the number of DeafBlind individuals we accept GREATLY depends on every volunteer’s full commitment to the entire duration of the camp.
What exactly do I do as a SSP?
In laymen terms, you will be the DeafBlind individuals’ eyes and ears. You will provide environmental information, sighted guiding, light interpreting during announcements, and such. You are not an interpreter, intervener, or a PCA.
Will I work with a team?
Most likely yes.
How long will I work?
You and your team will be assigned to a camper for the entire duration. There will be plenty of breaks throughout the experience.
Is the meal time part of the shift?
Currently yes. SSPs will eat along with the campers and provide environmental information. SSPs will not be servers though. We will all have a chance to practice some do’s and don’ts before the camp starts.
What if I need help?
There will be leaders, floaters, and coordinators everywhere. No worries!
Do I need to wear only black shirts everyday?
Good (solid) color contrast – Please be mindful of your skin tone. If you are dark skinned, wear light colored clothes and vice versa.
Who will I be assigned to?
Your assignments will be given out on the day of arrival. Life is full of curveballs and things can change.
For Campers Only:
When can I apply for camp?
The applications are open yearly in February.
How will I know if I am accepted?
An acceptance package will be emailed out. If the camp is full, the coordinator(s) will contact you to ask if you want to be placed on a wait list.
How much and when is it due?
$1500 is due on or before April 15th if you are from out of state,
$200 deposit is due to hold your spot if you have an open case with TWC.
What if I apply and change my mind?
Please let us know IMMEDIATELY! Final Camper Payments are due on April 15th. Camper Payments are no longer refundable after May 1st.
What kind of support will I have at camp?
Camp will provide Support Service Providers (SSPs) along with a registered nurse and staff that are trained to work with DeafBlind people. If you know a SSP who wants to help out, please have the SSP fill out the application. (All Applications)