Each August, nearly 300 WACAP parents and kids dig out their sleeping bags and travel to Sun Lakes in Central Washington for WACAP’s annual Family Camp. Five days later, they return home, usually a little closer, and feeling more connected they did before. One WACAP mom said it best: “Our time together in Sun Lakes was remarkable. I can feel how supported I am, and even when things aren’t perfect, I see my kids accepting more and more how very loved they are.”
As pictures and stories surface from Family Camp this month, we can only agree — “remarkable,” for the same wonderful reasons as every year.
Here’s a look at just a few of those reasons from WACAP Family Camp 2015 :
WACAP Family Camp is a great opportunity for families to connect and enjoy one another’s company. Here, two adoptive families get to know each other over dinner together, as their daughters, Emma and Julia (twins, age 12), and Keira (8) trade stories and smiles.
Culture and connections:
Family Camp holds a special place in the heart of Madison, who was adopted from Russia 18 years ago. “It is truly the highlight of my summer,” she tells us. “It makes me so happy to see all of the kids and their parents bonding and enjoying this time together.” Madison also appreciates the learning opportunities camp provides. “I love the variety of cultures that WACAP brings together and all of the fun activities that are organized to help us learn different facts about each one.”
Ongoing friendship and support:
These WACAP adoptees and siblings have formed strong friendships that keep them coming back to Family Camp each summer. “What has stuck with us is those friends that have been there multiple years and we can now call family,” says Ian, and adoptee from India and longtime camper. “We don’t just get together once a year, we connect with each other and try to meet up throughout the year. This camp makes us family.” Ian’s friend Becky agrees: “We may not see each other every day, but we always come together with friendships just as strong as before. More than anything this is a group that supports us through thick and thin at camp and at home. These relationships are truly the kind that last your entire life.”
WACAP Family Camp wouldn’t be possible without the work of the wonderful volunteers who make it happen. WACAP is so grateful to Kyle and Aundi Russel, who work all year to make Family Camp such a positive experience. A very special and heartfelt thank you goes out to Terry Potter, an adoptive mom of three WACAP kids from India. For the last 23 years, Terry has been a dedicated family camp organizer. Her hard work has made an impact on hundreds of families, and she is now enjoying time with her children and grandchildren as she “retires” from WACAP Family Camp. Thank you for everything Terry!
This inspiring setting is the backdrop for these special family memories and lasting friendships, year after year.