• Family Weekend Retreat Summer Programs 2022 June 3- June 5, 2022


    Summary

    On the sizzling Texas weekend of June 4-6, 2022, 50 families from all around the state made their way to the Texas School for the Deaf to “Create Connections” at our annual Family Weekend Retreat (FWR). 

    How did families create connections during FWR?

    • Texas Hands & Voices Ice Cream Social
      Kickoff Friday night set the tone with delicious ice cream to cool us off, and games and door prizes provided a great opportunity for families to connect! Guides, from Guide By Your Side, and families who had traveled from the same city, were thrilled to meet one another! … And so the weekend of creating connections began!

    • Childcare Activities
      Children from all backgrounds gathered in age groups for loads of fun and to make new friends. They enjoyed team building and water activities and even took a dip in Austin’s famous Barton Springs pool. Most importantly, they created long-lasting friendships! And almost everyone had a hard time leaving their new friends on Sunday.

    • Adult Education
      While the kids enjoyed their time bonding, the adults headed over to the St. Edward's University campus for workshops and expert knowledge sharing. TSD Superintendent, Claire Bugen, opened Saturday morning’s session with words of wisdom. Excellent keynote presenters and a variety of breakout workshops allowed adults to authentically engage in topics which were relevant to their family. Families were eager to learn and full of great questions to spark dialogue which continued throughout the weekend. It was a joy to see everyone participating! 

    • Family Fun Activities 
      As quickly as the weekend flew by, we did our best to maximize our time together. With foam parties, slip and slides, pool time, and movie night, we kept the party going for as long as the young ones - and adults - could stand!

    • Sunday Sessions
      • Keynote presenter, Dr. Sarah Schoffstall, pulled families in through a heartfelt reflection of the implications the pandemic played on the daily lives of families and children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Everyone had time to make deeper connections within their own family unit as well as among others in small groups.
      • To wrap up the weekend, a phenomenal group of young professionals led an intriguing panel discussion reflecting on their own journeys and giving insight for caregivers to consider before everyone headed home. 


    For 30 families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, this Family Weekend Retreat was their first time to gather with others similar to themselves. We accomplished what was imagined this weekend: to allow everyone to see the value of community, to grow as individuals and families, and provide resources that can be of assistance throughout a lifetime.

     Heart broken into puzzle pieces, Creating Connections Texas School for the Deaf 2021-2022

    A heartfelt thank you to the 50+ volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to make the weekend a success for these families.

    And finally, a special thanks to Texas Hands & Voices/Guide By Your Side, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired (TSBVI), and Region 13 Education Service Center for your support to provide a rich learning and growing experience for families across Texas.