Ages of Campers

Infant — 2 years old

All ages benefit from camp. In fact we firmly believe it is never too young to start introducing an adopted child to his or her birth culture, but also to many other adopted children “just like them.” We begin with our child care program complete with culturally relevant toys, videos, and activities for toddlers. Parent volunteers work in the child care room with our 2 year olds and younger during designated workshop times, so that parents of the infants may attend parent workshops if they choose. You are always welcome to keep your infant/​toddler with you during camp, but we then ask you not to bring your little one to the parent workshops. They are just too adorable and distracting!

35 years old

All ages benefit from camp. In fact we firmly believe it is never too young to start introducing an adopted child to his or her birth culture, but also to many other adopted children “just like them.” Our “campers” begin at age 3 (if they are potty trained) in our PreK program. This program has built in rest time and centers where camp workshops and activities come to them, similar to a protective preschool environment. We emphasize cultural experiences that are age appropriate for our Pre/​K group, and have worked hard over the years to develop an enriching, safe, and fun experience for our youngest campers. Some of the favorite workshops and activities for this age group have been storytelling, complete with puppets and/​or costumes, learning to “cook” with play ethnic foods and kitchens, singing children’s songs from their birth heritage, playing games, and dancing too! Of course, this age group visits our “cultural village,” at every camp, which is a hands-​on cultural delight for all ages. Children in this age group also participate in our HeART Talks™ program.

All of our workshops are taught by people who are of the same culture as the children, and who love sharing their culture with our kids. The counselors are also with the kids at all times, providing that important guidance and cultural role modeling for our campers throughout the day.

610 years old

All ages benefit from camp. In fact we firmly believe it is always the “right time” for an adopted child to really delve into their birth culture at camp, and also to spend time with many other adopted children “just like them.” We have a full scale elementary age program that strongly focuses on pride building cultural activities that are age appropriate, and lots of fun. We strive to make learning about one’s culture an experiential and memorable experience, with plenty to “take home” from camp, whether it is something tangible, like an art project, or just an idea, like why certain cultures are what they are. Many of our campers take what they’ve learned at camp back to their schools, churches, Boy and Girl Scout troops, friends and family to share their culture with pride and knowledge. Some of the favorite workshops and activities for this age group include making culturally specific craft projects, cooking simple ethnic foods, playing games, singing songs or playing musical instruments„ learning dances, and acting out stories and plays – all from their culture. Of course, this age group visits our “cultural village,” at every camp, which is a hands-​on cultural delight for all ages. Children in this age group also participate in our HeART Talks™ program .

All of our workshops are taught by people who are of the same culture as the children, and who love sharing their culture with our kids. The counselors are also with the kids at all times, providing that important guidance and cultural role modeling for our campers throughout the day.

1113 years old

All ages benefit from camp. In fact we firmly believe it is never too late for an adopted child to really delve into their birth culture in the camp environment, and also to spend time with many other adopted children “just like them.” Pre-​adolescence is a critical time in any child’s identity development, and a heritage camp experience just helps adoptees in this age group gain a sense of pride in who they are and where they came from, and feel less alone in their feelings and experiences. We emphasize team building activities and ways for this age group to form a bond in our middle school program. Favorite workshops and activities include canoeing, ropes courses, playing outdoor team games, plus more advanced art projects, musical experiences, martial arts, dancing, and learning about traditions and customs akin to their cultural roots. Our middle school campers also participate in our More Than Me™ program.

All of our workshops are taught by people who are of the same culture as the children, and who love sharing their culture with our kids. The counselors, many of whom are adoptees themselves, are also with the kids at all times, providing that important guidance and cultural role modeling for our campers throughout the day.

1417 years old

All ages benefit from camp. In fact we firmly believe it is never too late for an adopted person to really delve into their birth culture in the camp environment, and also to spend time with many other adopted people “just like them.” Adolescence is a critical time in anyone’s identity development, and a heritage camp experience just helps adoptees in this age group gain a sense of pride in who they are and where they came from, and to feel a sense of belonging within their cultural group, and also with fellow adoptees. We emphasize team building activities and ways for this age group to form a bond in our high school program. Favorite workshops and activities include white water rafting, ropes courses, playing outdoor team games, plus more advanced art projects, musical experiences, martial arts, dancing, and learning about traditions and customs akin to their cultural roots. Our middle school campers also participate in our This is Me™ program.

All of our workshops are taught by people who are of the same culture as the campers, and who love sharing their culture with our high school group. The counselors, many of whom are adoptees themselves, are also with the high schoolers at all times, providing that important guidance and cultural role modeling for our campers throughout the day. The camp experience doesn’t end here — it is followed by opportunities to be camp counselors or volunteers after high school graduation at one of our annual 10 camps.

18+ years old

The camp experience doesn’t end when an adoptee graduates from high school — it is followed by opportunities to be camp counselors or volunteers after high school graduation at any of our annual 10 camps.

Apply to be a Camp Counselor or Apply to be a Camp Volunteer

We are very proud that our programs continue to grow with our campers. We have learned throughout the years that though adolescence is a critical time in identity development, some of the toughest times in that area occur after a young adult has left home for college or another arena, and is gone from the support of a home and community who accepted that they were adopted and from another culture other than that of their parents. We realize that our heritage camps need to continue to meet the needs of our young adult adoptees and to we offer experiences and programming to maintain the cultural depth of learning while increasing the opportunities for peer group bonding and mentoring with older counselors, cultural community members, and each other as they grow into young adulthood.

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