Adoptee Advisory Board

It is important to Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families that we continually hear from and listen to our previous campers, who are now adults, and also to those adult adoptees who may not have had the camp experience as children.

We realize they offer invaluable insight into what worked best for them at camp, what they wish they’d had more of, and how to keep the heritage camp experience relevant to them as adults, and for their own families.

Therefore, we are in the process of developing an Adult Adoptee Advisory Board. If you are interested in joining this board, please contact Pam Sweetser, Executive Director directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We will be including adult adoptees from around the country in this Advisory Board, and hope to have our first “meeting” via video conferencing in the spring of 2011.

I discovered Colorado Heritage Camps as an adult and it has changed my life. It has helped provide me with a missing piece of myself — my ethnic identity. I have found an extended family filled with others who can relate to and understand my feelings surrounding adoption. Fortunately, adoptive families have these camps so they have the support they need and never feel alone. – Katie Smith, Indian adoptee

Korean Heritage Camp has been a haven for me. This camp has allowed me the opportunity to give back to my fellow adoptees and their families while simultaneously teaching me more about who I am and the community I come from than I ever could have imagined. - Noah Dempewolf, Korean adoptee

Heritage Camps provide the unique opportunity for adoptive families to be themselves. Adopted children feel at home with who they are,not having to explain themselves or why they look different than other family members. Adoptive parents find a community, a safe place to share the struggles and joys of being an adopted parent. Together, children, parents and families at Heritage Camp are finding new ways to be a community and a culture! I am so honored to be a part of Heritage Camps! – Bert Ballard, Vietnamese adoptee

Heritage Camps creates a space where families can find community and support while having fun and learning about important topics such as Culture. Adoption. Race…Thank you for the important work you all do! – Astrid Dabbeni, Latina adoptee

I came across the Heritage Camp’s while doing a search on the internet in 2001, in hopes to connect with other adopted Filipinos. I found myself on a plane to Denver for the first time that same summer and was forever changed. My participation with FHC has also healed many of my wounds though I have connected with fellow adult adoptees that have shared similar struggles. A decade later I have watched many of the adoptees grow up and consider the Filipino Heritage Camp my extended family. — Lorial Crowder, Filipino adoptee

I found camp as an adult and how it has enriched my life and boosted my confidence level I’ll never be able to express. To find out that the - Devon Shendleman, Indian adoptee

What Heritage Camp means to me? It means that I am truly a part of what makes HCAF run. That my story will be heard and that I can share my story with each adoptee and family. I know that where ever I go that HCAF will always be close. I can call on the HCAF Board, the families and friends or the adoptees when I need some extra support or just to talk. Each one of you has touched my life and shared a deeper meaning of what adoption means…endless love. Thank you Pam and the HCAF Board for allowing us to share our stories. – Dave Slattery, Filipino Adoptee

Attending Korean Heritage Camp resulted in lifelong friends, a deeper understanding of where I came from, and the knowledge that I am not alone in this adoption experience. It is also where my wife and I fell in love. – Tim Jordan, Korean adoptee

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