REECA (Russian/​Eastern European/​Central Asian)

July 2023, 2017 at Snow Mountain Ranch, Fraser, CO

2017 Directors: Vicki Grove & Lara Waters

What does REECA Heritage Camp mean to your family?

“Camp is just as much for the parents as it is for the kids. It is so nice to be with people who get it and understand both the challenges and blessings that families formed through adoption have.”

“Attending camp is a very important family tradition. It sends the message to our adopted daughter that her culture is very important. It gives her a time to connect with other kids adopted from her country. It provided one of the only opportunities in her life where she could be comfortable being herself.”

“The kids love the time with other kids like them as well as the cultural exposure. They develop and nurture these friendships throughout the year. We also value the resources and connections we make as parents in this environment.”

“My son told us he felt like he “belonged” at camp and made some really good friends. Camp prompted some great questions and discussions within our family. It was a great bonding time for our family. My bio son also loved camp and received a better understanding of adoption and his brother’s birth region.”

Dmitrii with campers


Russian/​Eastern European/​Central Asian Heritage Camp (REECA HC) is one of the few camps of its kind in the country specifically designed for families with children adopted from Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. REECA HC is one of 13 camps facilitated by the highly respected Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families (HCAF), a non-​profit organization that has conducted heritage camps for adoptive families for over 20 years.

Our acronym is a mouthful – REECA HC, but our campers come from a variety of countries; Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and more.

REECA HC is a camp for the entire family. Parents, adopted REECA children, non-​adopted siblings, siblings adopted from other cultures and extended family members are invited to come and learn about their adopted family heritage and culture. We work hard to accomodate children with special needs of any kind, and believe wholeheartedly that every adopted child should have this camp experience with their family.

We want to assure that everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!

Why is REECA Heritage Camp So Important?

REECA Heritage Camp is a place to explore your child’s cultural identity while also learning from so many other families “just like yours.”

We realize that as your children grow, they may be dealing with issues faced by any adopted child, especially when they are born in another country and/​or culture that is different from their parents. For a few days at our camp, they are with a sea of families who are like theirs, and with children who came from the same part of the world as they did. Though we enthusiastically celebrate and strive to highlight the different birth countries of our campers, we also recognize adoption as a culture of its own. The similarities of being internationally adopted children from that same place in the world is what really bonds the children and their families so immediately at our camp.

A few years ago, we were honored to have at camp a delegation from the Ukraine State Department for Adoption and Protection of the Rights of the Child to speak with parents and observe camp activities. They were very impressed by what we are doing at camp, and by our adoptive families. The head of the delegation was moved to tears when she told us how much it meant to her that our children at camp were staying connected to their culture.

What happens at REECA Heritage Camp?

REECA is a culturally and educationally rich heritage camp for all members of the family to enjoy. Every year participants eat food from the region, learn traditional folk dances, and learn to speak common Russian phrases. Different parts of the vast REECA region are highlighted each year and workshops are offered for each age level, children ( age 3 and up), teens, and parents– based upon each group’s needs and interests.

We had a very successful camp in 2016 – with nearly 250 participants, including adoptive families, our amazing volunteer counselors, and outstanding workshop leaders and presenters! To review the 2016 schedule and workshop descriptions, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly, and we will be happy to send you the materials.

We are in the exciting planning stages for REECA HC 2017!

Our camp theme this year is “Where my story begins.” Everybody has a story, and it’s important for our kids to know that their stories are worth telling and sharing. Through workshops and activities our kids will learn about the places where their stories begin, and then write and share their own stories, through words or pictures — about where they have been, the important people and events in their lives, and how they imagine their story will continue.

Watch this site for updates about this year’s guest presenters, workshops, and activities as they are confirmed.

Join us for four days in July and change your life forever!

For further information, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or “like” our REECA Heritage Camp Facebook page to become mroe connected to our camp!

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