Biosphere Member Profile: Bob Rumball Camp of the Deaf

By: Jennine Lowen

The Bob Rumball Camp of the Deaf, also known as the Ontario Camp of the Deaf, has been striving for over 50 years to be a leader in accessible outdoor recreational experiences for the Deaf Community. With no communication barriers, it is a place where Deaf and hard of hearing persons of all ages and abilities can be the “majority” instead of the “minority” as they are in every other aspect of their day to day lives. It is a place to call their own.

In the 1980’s we planted thousands of native trees, shrubs and grasses on the property. Recently, we stabilized watercourses with live staking and planted tree seedlings. We learned from organizations like GBBR and others how we can be better stewards of the land. There is always more to learn, and it is part of our programming to teach campers and staff as much as we can.

We make every effort to buy green cleaning products, and have done significant work to revitalize shorelines. There are duck boxes, bat houses, birdhouses and butterfly gardens that our campers created. In the past 15 years, we have been intentional in our stewardship by being one of the first camps in the area to start a recycling program.

The Deaf Camp strives to be an example to campers and staff to enjoy this beautiful area to the fullest. For many participants, it is the only time they leave the city. We celebrate this jewel of a property by teaching campers to recognize and respect what surrounds them as they enjoy the lakes, rivers, and trails throughout the property.