Big Mouth Camp 2013 – The Pirate Edition

Big Mouth Camp is a camp for school aged students who use speech generating devices and their families. I started Big Mouth Camp in 2003 and this year was the 8th camp (we have had a couple of years off). I am very lucky to have a fabulous committee who help with the organisation – Helen Tainsh, Charlene Cullen, Fiona Beauchamp and Siôn Gough Hughes. And we are also very lucky to have a large number of volunteers who come back year after year and make camp possible.  Plus all the amazing students and their families who come along and really get into the spirit of camp.

I am very excited to have a guest blogger today writing about this year’s Big Mouth Camp. Brenton is one of the students who attended this year’s camp and I hope you enjoy his insights about camp.

Hi, my name is Brenton. I am 15 years old. I have now gone to six Big Mouth Camps. Don’t tell anyone 😉

I want to tell you what Big Mouth Camp means to me.

  • I get to meet and talk to other people like me who use a Maestro electronic communication device.
  • I get to teach other children and adults how to use the device.
  • I get to learn more things about the DynaVox from the speech therapists like Jane, Gayle and Helen.
  • I listened to Nick, a speaker, who is 33 years old and uses a device. He came to visit us on camp and I asked him what it is like to have a disability. Nick said you only have one life so enjoy it. I keep listening to what Nick told me.

Big Mouth Camp is fun, fantastic, exciting, amazing and really special because lots of people help all of the children to learn how to speak using your Maestro. I was in Chris’ group this year and he made me leader showing the other children how to use the device.

Siôn thinks he was a pirate and he even grew a beard. He thinks he is the boss and shouts at us telling us what to do. We got him back as a joke and got him to walk the plank. We have fun and laugh lots and lots and play lots of jokes.

I want to go back again and again but this is my last camp because I am growing up. I really love Big Mouth Camp. Thank you to the Melbourne Welsh Church for funding Big Mouth Camp and to CPEC too.

Day 1: Getting to know you

We played games to get to know people. Siôn was the boss of camp who told us what to do every day.

I got to hold Abigail, Matt and Jess’ baby.

In my group there was Dylan, Xavier and Stephen who were teenagers and Chris and other helpers.

Day 2: Group games

Matthew’s girlfriend Emma came to help. We got to make biscuits with bugs. I tasted them but then I spat them out. But they were alright. Yuk, yuk, yuk! Emma ate them, she said they were OK.

One of the activities was a dress up. We choose our pirate dress up clothes and Siôn took photos. David painted the background so it looked like we were real pirates. It was lots of fun.

Sunday night we had a pirate disco. We did lots of dancing. My best dance song was YMCA. I did a bit of break dancing. We all got glow sticks. It was a fantastic disco thanks to Disco Dave.

Day 3: Outside games

We did a game outside where we have to get the cannonballs. The cannonballs were three of the helpers who were painted black. We had to chase them and try to get all four Pirate flags. If we did that in our teams we were the winners. It was fun and fast, sometimes it was a bit rough, but it was lots of fun. Matthew was painted all black and it took him three showers to get all the paint off!

Last Night: Concert Night

We had a concert on the last night. We were in our groups and we did a game show. I had to answer the questions that the game show host asked me and I had to beat Xavier. We had lots of jokes, it was fun. Every group had to work with their team to organize the play and make props and paint backgrounds. Everybody sat and listened and clapped at each other’s play.


And I’ve put the link below to a short video that one of our volunteers, John Dore, did about Big Mouth Camp.

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Happy International AAC Month everyone!

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Comments (14)

  1. Reply

    Brenton, reading your post about Camp was the next best thing to actually being there. Thanks for painting such a vivid picture! Only one problem: Now I feel even sadder for missing out on all the fun. Guess we will have to have Jane and her piratey crew come to Florida to teach us how to do it!

  2. Emma


    I loved your blog, Brenton! I wasn’t able to come to camp this year but I feel like I’ve been reading all you write and looking at your pictures:)
    You will be very missed at camp next year, but it’s exciting that you are growing up and will get to try lots of new things!

  3. Mel SMITH


    Loved reading your blog, Brenton – so proud of you and I can see how far you’ve come in your expressing yourself and being who you are. see you soon. Mel

  4. Mark



    It was great to read your blog about the camp. Sounds like you had a great time. It was great to see you in the photos. Your mum and dad look like real scary pirates! It was great to read about you helping others. You are a real champion. Do Demons!



  5. Uncle charlie


    Hi Mate
    It sound like you had lots of fun.Its great that you can help others in need. I am proud of you brenton.
    see you soon mate

  6. Michael Cole


    Hi Brenton,
    I am extremely proud of you! It certainly is obvious you enjoyed camp! I loved reading the blog and look forward to chatting with you about ‘Big Mouth Camp’ on your return to school.

  7. Ellie M


    Hi Brenton,
    Well done on an awesome blog!! It was lovely to catch up with you at camp…I was really proud to watch your fantastic contribution during activities and your enthusiasm to help others.
    Thanks for all the fun and chats, looking forward to seeing you soon. Please say sorry to Matthew for me for all the black paint – I hope it’s all gone now!

    Go Melbourne 🙂 🙂

    • Nina Webster


      This camp is great
      When is thd next one
      Pkease can I come
      I use prolo
      Everybody else I know talks
      15 years

  8. Sue McMinn


    Hi Brenton

    Wow! I loved reading your blog and hearing about all the activities you did on camp. It sounds amazing! I also really liked watching the video, it seems that everyday was filled with fun activities.

    Sue McMinn

    • jane


      Dear Nina,

      We aren’t running a traditional Big Mouth Camp this year. But we are running a day camp with a literacy focus in the July school holidays. The information for this year’s camp is at

      If you are interested in it please put in an application.



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