Braille Camp 2006

Outings With Christina

by Christina Ivanna

Christina IvannaAs you can see by the stories in this newsletter, and the wonderful photos of the children, our 2006 Summer Braille Camp was a resounding success!

The camp ran for two weeks, from July 10 through July 21.

Building a Strong Foundation

three girls laughing together at braille camp

There were many group activities, lots of one-on-ones, and small groups of new-found playmates.

Christina smiles and plays her harpBraille Camp included stories, songs, dancing, bowling, doll house dramas, and lots of playing with different sizes of balls each day.

There were impromptu jam sessions with drums, a trombone, harmonica, ukulele, guitar, 22-string harp, rattles and chimes, and at times our gorgeous two-manual organ. I contributed my large 36-string folk harp for quiet times.

During Braille Camp, several local newspapers stopped by to gather information for articles. The articles appeared in the Seattle PI on Thursday, July 13th; The Seattle Times on Tuesday, July 18th, the Everett Herald on Sunday, July 23, the Edmonds Enterprise on Friday, July 28, and the August 1st Edmonds Journal annual fall school preview issue.

boy playing with a ballThe reporters “caught” the kids bowling, creating jewelry, checking out a tactile map of the USA, seeing what a bobcat and raccoon look like up close and personal, and creating a red clay pottery project.

Other special events were French songs by a local performer and a steel drum concert and demonstration by two members of the Toucans band. On the last day, the grandfather of one of the campers treated everyone to lunch at McDonalds.

Bowling at Robin Hood Lanes

On Friday of the first week of camp, we traveled a block down the road to Robin Hood Lanes for some bowling time with the children. The Everett Herald and The Seattle Times newspapers sent reporters. The articles included pictures of the children bowling.

For many children it was a first time experience; a few had bowled before. The management at Robin Hood Lanes donated the cost of the lanes and the shoes and was very helpful and accommodating. Thank you all!

Pottery with Becky

Becky Bell, a University District artist, returned again this year to help the children explore clay and create their own projects. Becky was at Braille Camp two years ago and facilitated the clay project class.

Through the generosity of ceramic artists at our local Frances Anderson Center, these creations were glazed and fired for the children without any charge. Thank you Michael and Rose!

Toucans Steel Drum Band

The Toucans, a well known steel drum band in the Seattle area for nearly 15 years, have thrilled and delighted many people with their calypso music. Shortly before they came to our school, they were on the program at the Edmonds Parks summer concert series.

small, happy boy playing a drum very happy girl and boy playing a drum and a harmonica

Everyone at the Louis Braille Schoolhouse was up on their feet and swaying to the beat. A few children ventured under the drums and listened with glee as the vibrations came down to them. No matter where in the room they were, each child and adult was moving some part of the body and had a big smile on the face.

They say that one day in the late 1930’s a young man in Trinidad discovered that a dented section of an oil barrel head could produce a musical tone! And thus was born the steel drum band. Aren’t we lucky!

French Songs and Dances

Janet Rayor, a singer with Rouge, a group that performs French café and cabaret music, came to introduce the children to French songs and dances.

Janet is an actress, stilt performer, and singer with many years experience in theater and dance. She performed on stilts at the Taste of Edmonds this year, as she has done several years before. This year she was a very, very tall and lovely butterfly that moved gracefully around the grounds.

Several helpers joined us for the two weeks. Thank you very much Essie, Diane, Pat B., Pat M., Maddie, Julie, Chris, Sara, Michael, and Bobby. We could not have done this without you!!!

boy playing the organ boy relaxing with a guitar happy boy at camp

Christina Ivanna is the Louis Braille School Outreach and Support Administrator
Phone: 425 778-2384 or email