The fondest memory that I have of my childhood is going on vacation every summer to Sun Lakes State Park Resort for WACAP Family Camp. This fun filled week is complete with sun, swimming, candy, and lots of friends and meeting new people. I look forward to going back every year to see the same faces I’ve known for so long, and meeting new friends that I will have for years to come.
The point of going every year isn’t just to soak up the sun, but to learn new things about different cultures. There are people from all over the world there. Children from India, Ethiopia, China, Russia, and lots of other countries. Talking to these people about the part of the world they are from is very cool. Depending on how old they were when they were adopted you can learn a lot about one culture from just this one person. I like learning from fellow adoptees because it is in the perspective of a child and how they think. Their thoughts are different from what an adult would say if they were coming back from a different part of the world. It’s not just about the economy or the pollution when you are talking about the country; it’s more about the people and the surroundings and games they play.
There are lots of activities that make you more aware of the different cultures. One of my personal favorites is the International Potluck. There are food dishes from all over the world and it gives you a chance to try lots of ethnic food that you wouldn’t normally get the chance to enjoy. I always go up and get seconds or thirds to make sure I have tasted all that there is to try of the world. My mother always makes her famous Indian dish, Chicken Curry, which I beg her to make every year. Another activity that I enjoy there is “Tasting the World Around Us” which is where all the families put together dishes from where their children are from or anywhere around the world. You walk around to different campsites/cabins and try all these delightful foods and experience the food that people around the globe eat. Another fun activity is the fashion show
where children dress up in their traditional cultural outfits and walk down a “cat-walk” and everyone is in awe at how cute the little children are. Now, you don’t have to dress up in cultural outfits; one year my friend and I taped candy to our clothes and walked in what we called “Candy Outfits.” Everyone thought it was funny.
It is nice being able to walk around Sun Lakes and not be judged, or looked at in a weird way because your family is white and you don’t fit in with them. Everyone is diverse and understands that family isn’t about the color of your skin or even blood, but the love that they have for you and you have for them. Everyone fits in there because they can all relate to the same thing and it is like one big family. The people you meet there become really close because you see them every year.
The people that I have met there over the years are some of my best friends. I have watched them grow up and become the people they are today. Even though we may not see each other during the year, every summer we look forward to catching up and becoming as close as we can in that five day time period. You know that no matter what happens, the people that you meet at WACAP family camp will be life-long friends.