Press Release: Cajun Camp
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lafayette, Louisiana –– Lafayette Athletic Association of the Deaf (LAAD), a local non-profit organization serving the Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing (DDBHH) community in the Lafayette region, will host Cajun Camp July 17-21, 2023. This ASL Immersion program was previously operated by the Diocese of Lafayette with which the last camp session took place in 2018.
Part of LAAD’s mission is to promote healthy development in DDBHH youth. This camp is an opportunity for children to socialize and participate in activities with their own peers while being led by upstanding role models. The environment is designed to be immersive in American Sign Language and Deaf culture, which is critical to their first and second language development as well as building a healthy identity.
Campers will participate in a variety of indoor and outdoor games, classes, and activities. “This program is so much more than camp,” says Jay Isch, President of LAAD’s Board of Directors, “this is an opportunity for many of our children who are not given unfettered access to information, education, or even, communication through American Sign Language (ASL), to thrive in a robust ASL environment with a Deaf-centered approach. This program will promote healthy Deaf identity, self-confidence, self-esteem, social skills and a robust expressive language.” Our staff will be Deaf, have Deaf parents, have Deaf siblings, or other connections to the Deaf community. All of them are going to be fluent in ASL.
Cajun Camp will take place at LAAD’s facilities near the corner of Rue du Belier and Dulles in Lafayette and can accommodate up to 100 campers. Dr. Rachel Brown, former Principal of Lafayette High School, is serving as Camp Director. Dr. Brown worked as a counselor and assistant director at Cajun Camp for over 10 years when it was run by the Diocese. She is excited to start new traditions and make new memories for Cajun Campers!
Local businesses and individuals are invited to provide donations so that scholarships can assist campers with limited means. This year, some campers will be able to attend thanks to scholarships funded by the Louisiana Association of the Deaf. To help raise funds, LAAD is hosting a Crawfish Boil event to directly benefit Cajun Camp on April 15th at 11 am. It is $25 for 4lbs with 2 potatoes, 1 corn and a soft drink or water. RSVP is required; send an email to LAADOfficer@gmail.com with your name and # of orders, and they will put you on a list. Come join us and support our camp!
LAAD takes pride in being the largest Deaf-owned and Deaf-led facility in the State of Louisiana. LAAD rents its facilities for corporate or private functions to maintain a safe space for a variety of events allowing the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community to socialize, promoting their well-being, without any communication barriers. LAAD is proud to resurrect Cajun Camp!
For more information about Cajun Camp, contact:
Rachel Brown, PhD
Director, Cajun Camp