Aphasia Camp 2012

Submitted to the Brantford Expositor – Community Page

Brantford’s Adult Recreation Therapy Centre (ARTC) in partnership with March of Dimes Canada and Western University, offered Aphasia Camp 2012, Sept 14-16 at Tim Horton Onondaga Farm Camp near St. George. Aphasia Camp attracted 100 people from across southern Ontario, including 39 people with aphasia (communication problem after stroke), 22 family members and friends, and 39 staff, students and volunteers. Extensive training of volunteers allowed campers to enjoy a relaxing weekend in an aphasia-friendly and accessible communication environment. The following quotes highlight the positive impact of Aphasia Camp 2012:

• We know we are not alone
• I liked meeting new people like me
• I will not be ruled by my aphasia. I rule it!
• Watching my spouse take off independently and yet knowing she was going to be looked after. This is also the only time or a chance I have to discuss caregiver issues.
• Made my wife with aphasia part of all activities at camp. She actually “shines” in this environment.
• Make it longer!
• There were many different ways to share and get information
• The enthusiasm and warm atmosphere gave me a sense of purpose and a desire to make a difference (volunteer)
• New knowledge and skills will enhance my academic success (student volunteer)

Chair Yoga at Aphasia Camp 2012
Chair Yoga Class
Golfing at Aphasia Camp 2012 

Art at Aphasia Camp 2012
Photography Crawl at Aphasia Camp 2012

Camp was inspired by Stephen and Carol Goff, who volunteer tirelessly on behalf of people with aphasia; in 2011 they were awarded the provincial June Callwood Award for Outstanding Voluntarism. The success of our camp was due to the generous contributions and support of many community partners, organizations and individuals. Heartfelt thanks to:

Partners and Funders: March of Dimes Canada; Taz Moosa and Dr. J.B. Orange from Western University; Tim Horton Onondaga Farm Camp and staff; Ontario Trillium Foundation; Brant Community Foundation; Rotary Club of Simcoe; Barbershoppers’ Harmonize for Speech Fund/Ray Danley and Charles Gillyatt; Lorne and Elsie Hankinson Charitable Foundation Trust.

Donors and Supporters: Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists; Aphasia Institute Toronto; National Aphasia Association; Shoppers’ Home Health; Ontario Aphasia Centres Interest Group; Brant Community Healthcare System District Stroke Centre; BCHS Foundation; Seniors’ Health Research Transfer Network’s Communicative Access and Aphasia Community of Practice/Elyse Shumway; Bloorview Kids’ Rehab; Heart and Stroke Foundation Brantford Office; TD Bank/Chris Sage; CIBC; Ascent Solutions Inc., Tillsonburg/Jim Gratton; Lear Communication; Lee Ann Kant/Beyond Words; Amanda MacDonnell; Megan and Adam Day; Bob and Dori Ross; Joy Evans; Janet Weigel, individual and anonymous donors; clients of the ARTC and Norfolk Aphasia Programs.

From Brantford/Brant: William Street Eye Care/Dr. Paul Szak; Brantview Apples and Cider; Orchard Home Farm; Frank’s No Frills/Alan Sage; The River Lily; The Grand Salon/Ruth MacPherson; The Brown Dog; Rexall Drug, Paris.

From Waterford: Tradewinds Emporium; Pro Hardware; Main Street Collectibles; Chris and Monica Scleifer; Springview Golf Club; Waterford Old Town Hall/Claire Senko and Scott Pipe; Kristin Vollick; Cougar Express/Suanne Taylor; Deb Canada.

From Port Dover: Franklin Witt; Cottage North Soapworks; Circle Game; Apothecary; Grand Trunk Station.

Facilitators and presenters: Stephen Goff, Carol Goff, Sherry McKinnon, Bob Tees; Country Roads Barbershop quartet with Bill Werner, Mike Downing, Mike Arnold, Ross Gowan; Joanne Vegso, Carolyn Goff, Anne Moffatt, Rick Speyer, Bob Birnie, Barb Stokes, Stan Stokes, Hannah Lawrance, Mark Pineo, Luke Chene, Mary Gordon, Katie Fair, Wilma Montgomery, Natalie Hofmann, Rita Hofmann, Therapeutic Golf Rehab; Oreo, Wiggles and Chewy.

March of Dimes Canada staff: Jake Duprey, Amy Bouchard, Justina Hechanova, Kelsey Bell, Briar Robertson, Jeff McLelland, Katie Canning, Jennifer Ide. Special thanks to Gemma Woticky, our first-time camp co-ordinator.

Volunteers: John Hurst, Alina Goultiavea, Alan Sage, Lydia Amos, Claire Bonnano, Courtney Humble, Gwen Stevenson, Carol Harrison, Meegan Thomas, Ruth Patterson, Lori Wood, Loretta Casiani, Judy Collins

Western U. Speech Pathology placement students: Olivia Hazelden, Vanessa Amodeo, Alexandra Kaempffer, Andrea Thiessen, Megan Kondrockyj, Caitlin Marr, Janine Taylor, Beth Jeronimo

Special thanks to the Adult Recreation Therapy Centre, particularly Kaitlyn MacPherson, Lori Santilli, Kevin Williams, Nikki Avich-Perez, Pat Papez, Joe and Lynne Persia, and the board of directors.

This was the fourth year we offered Aphasia Camp, which in 2008 was the first of its kind in Canada. It has inspired other camps in Ontario and western Canada. We look forward to working with each of our wonderful community partners on our next Aphasia Camp!

Jan Roadhouse
Speech-Language Pathologist
Aphasia Program Co-ordinator
Adult Recreation Therapy Centre (ARTC), Brantford

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