About

MOTOCAMP

Our Riders/ Staff Profile

There are several teaching areas at Motocamp, a competition motocross track,a purpose built ATV race track that serves as an excellent training track, grassy fields, a sand pit and over 60 km of wooded trails.

 

MOTOCAMP is able to do what no other camp can do because the faithful support of so many. All the good that happens at MOTOCAMP is used to make a difference in the life of a Deaf or special needs child by offsetting the fees to go to Deaf Camp. No child has ever been turned away from Deaf Camp because there was no financial resources for them. You can help! Sponsor a child for Deaf Camp! All gifts are tax deducatble! Or shop and support our MOTOCAMP sponsors.

 

Lino Zecca has been sharing his wealth of knowledge with young people at Motocamp for over 20 years. Lino has raced internationally and was a freestyle pioneer. Lino has held a top ten Canadian MX plate and a Top 5 Supermoto ranking. Partnering with Lino is the Camp's Director Derek Rumball. ATVs are his passion.

Together, they have built a team of dedicated instructors who help make a week at MOTOCAMP full of memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Campers get lots of track time and the one to one attention that they may need.

 

The History

So where do the dirt bikes, ATVs, and most other forms of off-road recreation that use gas and oil fit in?

 

Cue the chance meeting of Derek Rumball, and Lino Zecca. Derek Rumball, the son of Rev. Rumball, is the Executive Director of the Camp and a former pro-ATV racer. Lino Zecca, a top ten Canadian professional motorcrosser turned promoter, met at the 1991 Toronto Supercross, where they were both competing in their respective disciplines. It did not take long for the idea of a residential summer camp program for motorcycle instruction to emerge. A track was built into the Sequin Township landscape that same year. Those first few years were focused on the young and up-coming motorcross racers. As years progressed, that one week of race camp grew into six weeks of instruction from the entry level rider to the seasoned pro. As well, an ATV specific week was incorporated. One track lead to a second, which lead to over 60 kilometres of off road trail all on camp property. 

 

The Camp of the Deaf is a unique facility that serves over 700 children who are hard-of-hearing and deaf, as well as special needs adults of all ages each summer . It is at this camp, that children who do not have a place where they 'fit in' find a home. Children from broken families, who endure constant language barriers, and adults that are typically confined to the group home setting, find solace, and relaxation with people just like them, and are not limited by their ability, or rather what people more commonly call "disability". Rumball recognizes the importance of a summer getaway, and that is why no child or special needs adult is denied a summer camp experience. Whether it is tubing on the front lake, or sliding down the 100 foot water slide into the back lake, there is no activity these deaf children, and special needs adults cannot do. 

 

The landscape of the Camp fit perfectly for a track, which could be used a part of a teaching program, and also used for Provincial and National Level racing for both Motorcross and ATV racing. After several years of operation, Rumball said that deaf children should be given a chance to ride as well. Their hearing loss may be a seemingly disabling, but it is not debilitating. Through Clinton Smout of Canadian Motorcycle Training Services, Deaf campers are able to ride a dirt bike just like any child can. It took Smout some time to master basic signs such as "gas", "brake", and "stop", but as Smout learned basic communication, his love for riding was passed on to a new generation of motorsport lovers- the Deaf campers. This special group of campers eagerly await "Ride Day", as it their favourite day of programming. Kayla has attended Deaf camp since she was eight years old. Now 19, she appreciates Ride Day for it gives her a chance to ride, with a friend on an ATV, and operate something other than her automatic wheelchair. For Kayla, she is able to actually participate in a sport in which she is not hindered by her Spina Bifida. She returns year after year to get her ride on the ATV...and also to check out the cute Motocamp boys.

 

Seeing the motocampers primarily at meals, and in the evening, creates a somewhat elusive and mysterious nature to the motocamp participants. However, come Ride Day, Deaf campers get a glimpse of this different subculture and can partake in an activity that is often accessible only to the elite and inaccessible to them. Part of the thrill can be as simple as wearing a race jersey, pants, and motorcross boots and get their picture taken. Similarly, Motocampers gain a true perspective on deaf culture, one that is not tainted by the media, or stereotyped as incompetent or unworthy.

 

At meals, all campers participate in team cheers, and it is quite remarkable to observe an inexperienced non-signing Motocamper sign "Camp is fun- whoo!" or "The Hungry Cheer" for the first time. When both camps gather around the Tuck Shop to get the daily dose of sweets, to see a conversation, that is one using American Sign Language, take place when buying a candy bar indicates that there is no language barrier too difficult to overcome.

 

Aside from the language barrier, and exposure to a new, distinct culture, Motocampers are also exposed to a world of special needs. Some individuals have never heard the jokes of a man with downs-syndrome, or have not seen how a woman with cerebral palsy loves to dance. It is through the two weeks of special needs camp offered at the Ontario Camp of the Deaf, that some Motocampers witness a life that is less fortunate, and more difficult in some ways, than their own. To be able to step outside of one's comfort zone and see that these adult campers are more than the group home is a bit of a culture shock, to say the least. But they are human beings, and people with desires and appreciation for things too, even dirtbikes.

 

Lino Zecca is particularly notable among the special needs campers at the Camp of the Deaf. The special campers do not forget him. Their first introduction to Zecca was when he jumped his dirt bike off a ramp to the flat ground over the camp bus, creating a motocross hero status for himself at the camp. He always has time to give rides to some of the neediest and physically challenged campers. While some of the special needs campers do not have the mobility or dexterity to ride a machine on their own, Zecca offers alternatives, so even these campers can get their dose of dirt and riding fun. Blain, a deaf camp regular, cannot wait to see Lino because he knows the ATV or side by side will go much faster than his walker will.

 

It is through simple interactions like this, that a great impact is made in the lives of the deaf campers and special needs adults. Even with his limited language skills, Blain calls Lino his brother, not only because they remarkably look similar, but because that bond has been established, over something so simple as a 5 minute ride around the camp. When they matching jerseys, they are brothers for life.

 

Connor is a 17 year old boy who was born deaf, but had a cochlear implant operation when he was younger, allowing him some hearing. He enrolled in Motocamp purely because of his love for his dirt bike, not knowing that the program was run at a camp for deaf individuals. Raised in a hearing community, Connor did not know sign language, but became a very good lip-reader and very vocal. Once at Motocamp, Connor started to notice that there was something different about this dirt bike camp. In fact, there were a lot of people who talked with their hands. For Connor, he was able to participate in a program geared towards his passion, which coincidentally enough was located at a camp catered to deaf individuals. He was able to ride the track, and see a greater community in which he had just never been exposed to. Connor even picked up a bit of sign language himself.

 

Although the Motocamp program is primarily based around riding, and long days at the track, campers have access to all of the activities and facilities at the Bob Rumball Camp of the Deaf. During down time, Motocampers are invited to participate in any of the field games or special events hosted by the Deaf camp, such as banquet or picnic dinners, talent shows, and movie nights. Motocampers also can go tubing, waterskiing, use the gymnasium facilities, swing off the Tarzan rope, or if they are brave enough, jump from the 30 foot tower into the refreshing water. 

Lino Zecca: Head Instructor 

Former Canadian Professional National Number 10 and Former Canadian Supermoto National Number 3. Lino has over 25 years of experience teaching young students how to ride a motocross bike in a safe and fun environment. 

Dario Zecca: Advanced Group Instructor 

2018 National Number 73. Dario has 15 years experience attending and teaching at Motocamp. 

Nych Burnside: Advanced Group Instructor

Nycholas is a current ranked intermidiate motocross racer. He has attended Motocamp since he was 4 years old and is currently on of our advanced group instructors. 

Tallon Zecca: Instructor of New Riders

Tallon has attended Motocamp since the age of 4. He currently does not race but instructs with us teaching the groups of new riders that attend our camp. 

Ken Gracey: Head Mechanic/Instructor

Ken has worked as a mechanic at Motocamp for more than 20 years. If you have bike problems during the week that can be fixed... he will fix it.