For many families built through adoption, heritage camp can be a wonderful way to connect with a child's birth heritage and culture. Heritage camp can also allow your child to connect with other children whose life story and family structure resembles hers. Heritage camp is not just for the child, though -- it's an enriching experience for the entire family.
Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families (HCAF) is a Colorado-based organization that offers heritage camps for families built through either international adoption or domestic adoption. Their camps cover countries and cultures from across the globe, including:
- Central Asia
- Eastern Europe
- Latin America
HCAF also offers a Domestic Adoption camp, which, according to their website, covers the unique needs and concerns of families built through "foster care, kinship, and domestic infant or older child adoption."
The robustness of HCAF's offerings is unique. Their wide-angle view on both domestic and international adoption affords them the opportunity to understand the beauty of many cultures, as well as the commonalities and differences that adoptees from different countries face. Another unique aspect of camps delivered by HCAF is that the organization makes great efforts to hire camp counselors "who have the same ethnic background as the adopted children at each camp."
HCAF is not the only heritage camp provider. Many adoption agencies and local service agencies also offer heritage camps that match their international programs. A simple Web search for "heritage camp" turns up dozens of results.
Regardless of which camp you choose, immersing your child -- and your family -- in a heritage camp experience can be rewarding and unforgettable. The connections you'll make, the feeling of oneness that you'll experience and the memories that you'll take away will last long after your camp experience ends.