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Comments

Lina

I can't go to the link at the moment. But I'd like to know more about the camp. Could you give me more info?

Susan Borst

Thank you Beth! What a beautiful and accurate description.

I'm new to this blog and very busy with planning for Cambodian Heritage Camp as the Elementary Program Coordinator so didn't see this right away, my apologies for my late reply.

Beth's reply describes camp well. Cambodian Heritage Camp (CAMHC) can be incredibly impactful on children, their sense of identity, their self esteem and their ability to articulate those important componants to others. I have heard so many stories from families throughout the years RE: numerous unexpected and happy outcomes as their child talks about, reviews, and integrates their camp experience into their lives and identities through out the year. Camp is often the only place where kids see other Cambodians, literally seeing themselves in the faces of others. More importantly, it is the only place they can go where they are exactly the same as their peers----Cambodian children of (mostly) Caucasion parents. No questions to deal with, just instant and innate understanding. Cambodian American young adults serve as counselors, accompanying the children throughout the day and supporting them in their activities and classes. These incredible young people are powerful role models to the kids as the children bond and observe what they will/can be like when they grow up. Since so many counselors return year after year, CAMHC does their best to assign counselors to the same groups of kids as the kids "age up", providing an ongoing relationship between counselors and kids.

As Beth said, camp is completely directed, planned and run by volunteer parents of adoptive Cambodian children. All the counselors, teachers and workshop presenters are volunteers with many of them paying their own way to camp year after year just to be a part of the experience. They find the experience that moving and, well, fun!

Cambodian Heritage Camp started under the auspices of Colorado Heritage Camps, a non-profit organizaion started by an adoptive mom. CO Heritage Camps provides the infrastructure to support 10 different Heritage Camps (for 10 different cultural heritages of adoptive kids), all founded and run by adoptive parents. CAMHC itself was started in 2003 with 22 families in attendance. This year, attendance has been capped at just under 100 families and we have more than 80 Cambodian American young people coming to serve as counselors.

For those who are not parents of adopted children, I enthusiastically encourage you to consider being a part of camp by being a counselor, teacher, or workshop leader. Camp takes place in CO, in the Rocky Mountains, just minutes away from Rocky Mountain National Park. All your expenses are paid while at camp, your children may also attend camp for free. You can go to the website at:
www.heritagecamps.org to volunteer or express an interest in participating in camp. As camp continues to grow we are always looking for parent volunteers as well!

Please excuse my shameless plugging for camp. It truly has impacted my family in powerful and positive ways, and this is always a "pumped up" time as we work towards the final stretch of launching this year's Cambodian Heritage Camp.

For more info, go to
http://www.heritagecamps.org/cambodia.html

Blesings,
Susan Borst


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