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While most kids are soaking up this summer weather, there’s several dozen who are spending this entire week on ice.

This is the 45th year for this camp designed specifically for hockey players who are deaf or have trouble hearing.

The American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association, AHIHA’ hosts seven days of intense hockey training for players who once believed they couldn’t be part of the game.

“I started coming here when I was five years old,” says Jessica Goldberg. “I didn’t even know how to skate, much less play hockey. They have been my family since day one and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.”

Founded in 1973, National Hockey League Hall of Fame member Stan Mikita and Chicago businessman Irv Tiahnybik started the camp to instill confidence and self-esteem in deaf and hard of hearing athletes. Over the years, they have impacted the lives of thousands of participants by teaching them not just how to be successful in hockey, but life.

“The person I learned a lot of my skills from taught me at this camp too,” says Kevin Delaney, Skating and Skills Coach for the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford Ice Hogs. Delaney who has a hearing impairment attended the camp as a young man. “Everything I learned I learned from the coaches here.”

The organization relies entirely on donations and the long hours by volunteers. For more information check out