Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing confirms reopening, honors board member

Board member Christy Smith receives “Everyday Hero” Award from Denver 7

Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing board member Christy Smith (center) signs a thank you as the recipient of Denver 7's "Everyday Hero" award at the campus in Old Snowmass on Sunday, May 23, 2021. Fellow board members Karen Immerso (left) and Zeph Williams (right) joined news crews, Smith’s family and camp volunteers during the presentation of the award; Immerso nominated Smith for the honor.
Austin Colbert/The Snowmass Sun

The latest volunteer service weekend at the Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing came with a bit of fanfare in Old Snowmass when camp board member Christy Smith received Denver7’s Everyday Hero award.

Fellow board member Karen Immerso nominated Smith for the award, which goes to local Coloradans making a difference in their communities.

Smith, who currently lives in Arvada, has deep roots in the valley: her whole family lives in Aspen, and she jokes that she’s been involved with the camp “since birth.” She attended programming at the camp when she was growing up and learned sign language there; she later returned as a staffer and now serves on the board of directors.

“Here was a safe place — it made me feel whole here,” she said through sign language interpreters at the camp Sunday morning.

Smith has seen many changes over her decades of involvement with the camp, but “a lot has happened” just in the two months since she joined the board of directors. Volunteer crews continue to work on facilities updates, and fundraising remains a top priority.

With the camp’s reopening confirmed for July, Smith envisions a “holistic, hands-on learning experience” that will help campers reconnect after a year that was especially isolating for the deaf and hard of hearing community, she said.

“It’s the beginning of a new era,” Smith said.

Clear for takeoff

The Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has officially confirmed three summer camps for families and young adults this summer, according to board member Karen Immerso.

The camp will host three groups this summer for its first summer of programming since 2018.

The first family camp for parents, and kids ages 5 to 8 will take place July 19 to 22; a second family camp for parents, and kids ages 8 to 12 is on the calendar July 24 to 28.

A mountain biking and leadership camp for young adults ages 18 to 20 is slated for Aug. 12 to 17.

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