Camp for Kids Who Stutter

Stuttering camp participant, graduate student and Goldy

The Sioris Family University of Minnesota Kids Who Stutter (SFUMKWS) summer camp has been in existence since 2009. One of the main goals of the camp is to allow children who stutter to meet one another. Many of our campers have never before met anyone else who stutters, which can be a very isolating experience.

Because stuttering is a multi-factorial impairment, which affects much more than speech fluency, the focus of the SFUMKWS camp is on the social, emotional, and attitudinal aspects of stuttering. Our goal is for kids to accept themselves as people who stutter who can be very good communicators.

Camp Dates

Camp is held on the University of Minnesota campus in mid-June, immediately after Metro Area school districts have completed their academic year.

In the mornings, we offer a half-day program for children who are entering 4th to 6th grades. In the afternoons of the same week, we offer a half-day program for children who are entering 7th to 9th grades. The size of the groups is limited to 10 children each. Transportation to and from camp is not provided.

Camp Activities

Throughout the week, the kids participate in fun camp activities. Camp activities may include: bowling at Coffman Union, playing carnival/yard games, theater/dramatic games, therapy dog training. They also participate in small group sessions with graduate student clinicians and large group discussions.

The small group sessions may include:

  • Getting basic facts about stuttering and bullying and sharing them with others
  • Understanding one’s own stuttering and becoming desensitized to it
  • Practicing voluntary stuttering as a means to gain more control over speech
  • Exploring how our own thoughts and attitudes affect our emotions, how our body feels and reacts, and what we do about speech
  • Developing a support network
  • Developing skits to demonstrate what we would like others to know about stuttering
  • Understanding what it means to be a confident communicator

Large group discussions may include a variety of social and emotional issues related to being a person who stutters, including negative/positive self-talk, developing coping strategies, educating others about stuttering, and dealing with teasing. This group is led by adults who stutter and have completed graduate degrees in speech-language pathology.

At the end of the week, we invite family and friends to a reception where the kids perform skits about stuttering.

A generous donor has covered most of the costs of camp. There is a small materials fee to participate, but scholarships are available based on need.

Spotlight on Camp Staff: Joel Korte

Joel Korte holding an electric guitar standing near a desk with a computer on it
Joel Korte in his studio

As part of Boyd Huppert's Land of 10,000 Stories, KARE11 focused on UMN master's of speech-language pathology program graduate Joel Korte, who plays a big part in our camp. The story was then picked up by USA Today and featured on their website. Watch the video about Joel for a quick glimpse into his life and the great things he does for our camp.

To see a quick glimpse of some of our campers talking about stuttering and how it has affected them, watch this short teaser from KARE11. 

Registration and Additional Information

Contact us for more information

If you (or someone you know) are interested in more information about these opportunities for young people who stutter, contact Erin Bodner at bodne004@umn.edu.

As part of HIPAA compliance regulations, please note that if you would like to communicate via email, you must submit an electronic consent form.