About the author: Ana Paula G. Mumy, MS, CCC-SLP, is a trilingual speech-language pathologist who provides school-based and private services. The author of various continuing education eCourses, leveled storybooks and instructional therapy materials for speech/language intervention, Ana Paula also offers free resources for SLPs, educators, and parents on her website The Speech Stop (thespeechstop.com). She is in the process of becoming a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency.
Camp Shout Out is a unique camp where youth with fluency disorders, graduate students, and speech-language professionals come together to “learn, teach, and empower each other to become more competent communicators and therapists in a safe, fun, and natural environment.” (www.campshoutout.org)
As I reflect upon Camp Shout Out, the pervading image I see is an avalanche. A start zone, a trigger, a shift in the snowpack, a track. Fast acceleration, rapid growth, and the entraining of everything in its path. Do you see Camp Shout Out yet?
The start zone – a rustic campground on beautiful Big Blue Lake.
Trigger #1: A supportive community of people with shared experiences, shared challenges, shared tears, shared goals.
Seismic activity has begun.
Trigger #2: Five guiding principles that teach us all to be…
Attentive as we listen to each other and our own bodies;
Assertive as we dare to conquer our fears and challenge self-imposed limits;
Confident as we stand up majestically and replace mistaken thoughts with helpful thoughts that lead to powerful actions;
Effective as we commit to continued learning with specific goals as we strive to become effective communicators;
Proactive as we practice and plan and set ourselves up for success and simple happiness.
Major metamorphic changes in the snowpack continue.
Trigger #3: New found understanding, peace, self-worth, courage, strength.
Deep breath in…and there flows the snow, unable to resist the imposing force, except its track is the surface of precious lives – children, young adults, old folks – all moving through their own journey, yet now with rapid acceleration and growth because they’ve all learned a great deal. They carry with them invaluable lessons, lessons that will entrain all those who cross their paths – family members, friends, teachers, co-workers.
You see, avalanche initiation starts with small amounts of movement, small variations in the surrounding conditions. However, under all of the right conditions, that small beginning evolves into a giant force. Camp Shout Out is an avalanche – an avalanche of empowerment and transformation, not of destruction. May its forward flow continue for years to come. May it grow exponentially and entrain multitudes because this force is truly life-changing!
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