Castlemania, a community event organized for the hearing-impaired and their families took place on a sunny afternoon on 26 November 2008.
The event was also for new volunteers who had just graduated from a basic sign language course run by Talking Hands, a volunteer group that serves the hearing-impaired and helps bridge the gap between the mainstream community. This event allowed the new volunteers to communicate with the hearing-impaired using sign language, in a situational yet fun and relaxed atmosphere.
A total of 16 hearing-impaired and 12 new volunteers came together at East Coast Park. The participants were split into a Men’s Team and a Ladies’ Team, and the two teams had to build a sandcastle according to a theme within two hours.
At the word go, the participants brainstormed on the theme for their sandcastle using sign language. Quickly, each team got down to work and started digging a base and building a structure that would be their masterpiece.
The volunteers were not allowed to directly help in constructing the sandcastles; they could only assist by giving suggestions and providing flora to decorate the sandcastles. Before long, two distinctly different sandcastles took shape. The Ladies team boasted a neat structure with symmetrical towers while the Men’s Team had a unique, heart shaped base for their sandcastle.
The results were a 5-5 draw and three passerbys were asked to pick the winner and break the tie. The vote was 2-1 in favor of the Ladies’ Team. The team was presented with the prize of vouchers worth S$150 before everyone headed to the nearby Lagoon Food Center for dinner and fellowship.
|PHOTOS: Jacqueline Chan|
“It was a great first outing — everyone enjoyed themselves,” said volunteer Jacqueline Chan, 38. Strong friendships were built between the volunteers and the hearing-impaired, even the family members who came with them.
The group is already looking forward to the second outing — a Christmas event.