화요일, 7월 16, 2024
HomeNews'33rd Korean Heritage Camp' A Journey to Rediscover Roots for Adoptees

’33rd Korean Heritage Camp’ A Journey to Rediscover Roots for Adoptees

spot_img

The Warm Embrace of a Community for Korean Adoptees and Their Families

The 33rd Korean Heritage Camp took place from June 13 to 16 at the YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch. This event, organized by Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, Inc. (ACAF), saw over 900 participants, with volunteers outnumbering adoptive families, highlighting the dedication and love from the community. The camp, which began in 1992 with 40 families, has grown into a nonprofit organization supporting over 1,000 adoptive families from more than 40 countries.

The opening ceremony featured Reverend Kwang-O Kim singing the Korean national anthem, followed by Executive Director Pam Sweetser’s greeting in Korean. Attendees from 21 states were welcomed, with Sweetser expressing hope that the camp helps children discover their roots and build pride.

The San Francisco Consulate General, including newly appointed Consul General Jung-Tak Lim and his team, attended, emphasizing the camp’s importance in helping adoptees learn about Korean culture. Consul General Lim expressed his hope that the camp would significantly aid adoptees in finding their roots.

Soo-Ji Park, head of the Korean Heritage Committee, thanked volunteers for their dedication, noting that the camp’s success wouldn’t be possible without their efforts. The opening ceremony concluded with a dynamic samulnori (Korean traditional percussion) performance by the Denver Nongak Band.

Helen Cho, along with her women’s group from Colorado Springs, continued their decade-long tradition of preparing and serving Korean meals at the camp. This year, they provided marinated beef ribs, despite Cho’s health challenges. “Even after multiple surgeries, I’ll continue volunteering as long as I can,” she said, appreciating her friends’ help in preparing the meals.

Throughout the camp, volunteers delivered fresh rice daily from Denver, and local organizations such as H Mart and One Heart Daycare provided side dishes. M Mart offered a variety of snacks, showcasing the local community’s spirit of generosity.

Various classes were held by dedicated volunteers. Principal Hyun-Ju Shin from Fort Collins taught Korean language classes, while pharmacist Chloe conducted a skincare class, distributing Korean facial masks. Mental health sessions were available for parents facing child-rearing challenges.

Appa band’s great rock performance

The camp’s activities, divided by age group, included Korean cultural experiences such as cooking Korean dishes, traditional crafts, games, and trying on hanbok (traditional Korean clothing). Other activities included zip-lining, mini-golf, K-pop dance lessons, taekwondo, and samulnori classes.

Executive Director Sweetser noted that while some communities are well-organized, Korea’s camp stands out for its exceptional service. Eric, a long-time volunteer who started as a camper in eighth grade, emphasized the importance of community and connection. “Our goal is to form and maintain deep bonds among those in similar situations,” he said.
The success of the Korean Heritage Camp is largely due to the continuous efforts of early members like Soo-Ji Park and community volunteer coordinator Sung-Woo Lee. Veteran volunteer Cheong Street, who has been with the camp for over a decade, reflected on the challenges faced by adoptees. “It’s mentally taxing, but understanding their struggles is crucial,” she said.

The closing ceremony on Saturday featured Korean snacks and dishes like tteokbokki and kimchi pancakes. The camp ended with a performance by samulnori master Sebastian Wang, followed by a lively dance party. On Sunday, a slideshow of camp memories concluded the event, as participants bid farewell with plans to reunite next year.

The Korean Heritage Camp plays a vital role in helping adoptees embrace their cultural roots and navigate their identities. Our community must continue supporting these children through educational programs, cultural experiences, and emotional support to ensure they thrive in their new environments.

Special thanks to the sponsors and volunteers who made this camp possible, including the Government of South Korea, the San Francisco Consulate General, H Mart, M Mart, Denver Jeja Church, Korean Christian Church, Helen Cho’s women’s group, Hallelujah Church, Doulos Presbyterian Church, One Heart Senior Center, Second Home Community, Paradise Daycare Center, Appa Band, Weekly Focus, and Colorado Times.

spot_img
coloradotimes
coloradotimeshttps://coloradotimesnews.com/
밝고 행복한 미래를 보는 눈, 소중한 당신과 함께 만듭니다.

뉴스레터 구독하기

이메일을 남겨주세요. 중요한 최신 소식을 보내드립니다.

콜로라도 타임즈 신문보기spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img

Most Popular