10 Questions to Ask about Heritage Camps
1. Is the camp for families—or children only?
Most are designed for families. Other camps are just for kids, such as Holt Adoptee Camp (right), a sleep-away experience for children ages nine to 16.
2. What ages can attend?
Most serve a range of ages, from three to 18, and their families.
3. What activities are offered?
All camps offer cultural activities, and most devote time for adoption discussions for both parents and children.
4. Who operates and staffs the camp?
Some are run by nonprofits, some by adoption agencies, and others by adoptive parents. Most hire teens or young adults—often adoptees themselves—of the campers’ ethnic heritage.
5. Do I have to volunteer?
Some count on parents to help run the camp, assisting with workshops, meals, transportation, and fundraising.
6. What percentage of campers return?
A good return rate can be as high as 75 percent.
7. How are the accommodations?
Some camps have rooms with private bathrooms. Others are rustic, with cabins sharing bathroom facilities. Camps in urban areas sometimes offer hotel accommodations.
8. How much does it cost? When should I apply?
Fees, which cover programs, lodging, and meals, range from $70-$125 per person, per day. You also need to figure in travel costs, which can be considerable if you live far from a camp. Some camps fill up quickly; others accept registrations up to two weeks before camp.
9. What other types of camps are there?
Pact Camp and Holt Adoptee Camp focus on adoption and race. There are also camps unrelated to adoption that cater to specific ethnic groups, such as Camp Atwater in Brookfield, Massachusetts, for African-American kids. Sleep-away language camps, such as Concordia Language Villages in Moorhead, Minnesota, are popular for adoptees.
10. How do I find a camp? You can also find AF’s camps listing online at adoptivefamilies.com/calendar.
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