Camp Jean Rankin: Empowering Children and Teens who Stutter

Camp Jean Rankin:  Empowering Children and Teens Who Stutter


Appalachian State University is excited to announce North Carolina’s only residential, intensive summer camp for stuttering, Camp Jean Rankin: Empowering Children and Teens Who Stutter. Since stuttering can become increasingly challenging during the teen years, this program will be a welcome resource for young people, aged 11 to 16 and their parents. The camp will take place July 21st—July 26th, 2024 on App State’s campus in Boone, North Carolina, nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.




The Impact of Stuttering

Stuttering impacts approximately 1% of the population. It involves disruptions in the forward flow of speech that differ in quantity and/or quality from those of the typical speaker. People who stutter can struggle and experience physical tension and loss of control while talking. Stuttering may lead to feelings of embarrassment, anxiety and fear of speaking, as well as attempts to escape and avoid stuttering and speaking altogether. It can have a negative impact on the individual’s personal life, academic performance and occupational achievement.


Vision for the Camp

Camp Jean Rankin is a residential, intensive summer camp for adolescents aged 11 to 16 who stutter. The camp will run Sunday through Friday and incorporate both individual and group sessions for campers. In addition, the camp will include group sessions for parents that will occur on Sunday and Friday. The camp is designed to work on:

  • managing moments of stuttering.
  • increasing fluency.
  • decreasing negative feelings and attitudes about stuttering.
  • increasing the camper’s participation in their everyday world. 


This camp is intended to give campers a positive experience with speaking, stuttering and communicating. It gives campers the opportunity to meet others who stutter and, together, they will work with graduate-student clinicians, licensed speech-language pathologists and their peers to lessen the possible negative impacts of stuttering. Campers will stay at university residence halls and will have the opportunity to apply the skills learned in everyday communication settings, such as in group outings that may include rock climbing, hiking, swimming and visiting area shops and businesses.



For more than 50 years, the Communication Disorders Clinic at App State has been dedicated to improving the overall quality of life for individuals who have communication disorders. The camp’s oversight will be provided by faculty who have clinical and research expertise in the area of fluency and fluency disorders. Joe Klein and Holly Hanley will be the lead faculty members for this initiative.


Joe Klein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Program at App State. Joe teaches classes in fluency disorders and research methods and supervises therapy for people who stutter. Joe has presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; The National Stuttering Association annual conventions in the United States; and for Friends: The Association of Young People who Stutter in India and the U.S. He has also published articles about stuttering in Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Perspectives in Fluency Disorders, and The Journal of Fluency Disorders. Joe’s research interests are in the areas of support for people who stutter.


Holly Hanley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Clinical Education in the Speech-Language Pathology Program at App State. Holly teaches classes in speech sound disorders and motor speech disorders. She is a past president of the North Carolina Speech, Hearing, and Language Association. Holly’s research interests include motor speech disorders, speech sound disorders, progressive disorders, and supervision of graduate students.

For more information contact:
Joe Klein-


Holly Hanley-