ECU News Services

Speech Camp 
Greenville Fire and Rescue firefighter Chris Lancaster demonstrates Tuesday a personal alarm safety device during Pirate Speech Camp at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The alarm allows firefighters to be found in a structure if they become trapped while fighting a fire. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Pirate Speech Camp gets ‘hands on’

Children participating in Pirate Speech Camp are putting East Carolina University’s motto, to serve, into practice.  

Last week was “helping hands” week at camp.

Greenville firefighter Chris Lancaster and police officer K.M. Gaines talked with the children about how they help others in the community. Lancaster demonstrated a personal safety alarm so firefighters can be found if they become trapped in a structure while fighting a fire.

The camp provides a fun, intensive therapeutic environment to improve the communication skills of children with severe expressive language deficits including autism, said Julia Morrow, camp director and coordinator of external clinical education in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

This is the third summer that ECU has offered the five-week camp in space provided by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Greenville. There are 13 campers ages 4 to 10.

Also during “helping hands” week, parents and children spread mulch on the playground in appreciation for the donated camp space. On Thursday, the children donated small blankets they made for the animals at the Pitt County Animal Shelter. Next week, Kelly Philpot of Riley’s Army, an organization that supports children with cancer and their families, will receive homemade quilts that the campers designed.

Other themes have included zoo week, with a zoo parade and petting zoo, Morrow said.    

This story appeared originally in the Aug. 27, 2010 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at