Camp Wonder Hands
A special time and place for children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.
Wouldn't the world be a better place if every child got to go to camp?
That is our dream at Camp Wonder Hands. Created specifically for children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, Camp Wonder Hands provides an environment that celebrates the unique culture of these beautiful youngsters.
Consider the value of this setting: deaf and hard-of-hearing children are the majority – perhaps for the first time in their lives.
Successful, confident adults who share their challenges serve as counselors and role models. Every day, in every activity, their beautifully expressive language is celebrated. Add to this the many benefits of a summer camp experience, and it's easy to see why Camp Wonder Hands has grown so remarkably.
Marolyn Amick knows the isolation deaf and hard-of-hearing children sometimes feel. A Child Life Specialist at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital, Marolyn is hard-of-hearing and has a child who is deaf.
In 1996, she began a summer program in her home. Seven deaf and hard-of-hearing children came to her house each Monday – Marolyn's day off. People from the community embraced the idea and offered their help.
Today, Camp Wonder Hands is a five-day, four-night camp for children ages 7-15. Held at Camp Kinard, near Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, the camp is a program of Palmetto Health Children's Hospital. Each camper attends on a scholarship provided by Children's Hospital or private, civic and corporate donations. There is no cost to the family.
Statistics from the S. C. Department of Education and the S. C. School for the Deaf and Blind indicate that the approximate number of deaf and hard-of-hearing children statewide is between 1,000 and 1,500. We’d like to serve at least 100 children, not only in the core 17 counties served by Children's Hospital, but from all counties across the state. Our dream is to expand to a six-day, five-night camp.
2018 camp dates and registration
- Camp Wonder Hands – Sunday, June 24–Friday, June 29, 2018
- Mandatory orientation for staff – June 22-23, 2018
6053 Two Notch Rd.
Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29006
If you are the parent, educator or mentor of a child who is deaf or hard-of-hearing, please contact us for enrollment materials and to find out about the availability of scholarships for this year's camp.
If you are interested in being a counselor or volunteer, we would love to hear from you. You do not have to be deaf, hard-of-hearing or possess the ability to sign. We provide training during an orientation session, typically held just before the camp.
Please complete all forms of the enclosed application and return the packet to the return address provided or by email as a PDF attachment. The application deadline is Monday, April 24, 2017.
Phone: 803-296-KIDS (5437)
If you would like to support Camp Wonder Hands financially, we welcome your gift. Simply call us at 803-296-KIDS (5437) or submit your donation online or by mail. We encourage donations of $500, which covers the cost of a child's camping experience, but we welcome gifts of any amount.
Donate by mail
Complete our volunteer sign-up/donation form (PDF) and return it to:
- Palmetto Health Foundation
ATTN: Camp Wonder Hands/Diane Junis
1600 Marion St.
Columbia, SC 29201
If you would like to make an online donation to Camp Wonder Hands, view our page linked below. Please select "Other" in the Donation Information section and select "Camp Wonder Hands" in the Designation drop-down.
Special thanks to our 2017 partners:
- Bonner Family Private Foundation, Inc.
Dining hall partner
- W. Alan Woods Charitable Trust
- Cochlear Americas
- Midland Hearing Associates
- Golden Kiwanis Club
- Lexington Sertoma Club