Five Days That Last a Lifetime

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 :

Growing community:

A photo of a group of smiling people around a picnic table

A picnic dinner at WACAP Family Camp

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.”

Madison, right, and friends on bingo night.

Madison and friends on bingo night.

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.”

Dedicated volunteers:

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!

The magic:

This inspiring setting is the backdrop for these special family memories and lasting friendships, year after year.

A photo of a dramatic sunset over a lake


WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents) is one of the largest and most experienced international nonprofit adoption and child assistance agencies in the United States. Since 1976, we’ve placed over 10,000 children with loving adoptive parents and provided food, medical care and education to more than 200,000 children around the world.
This entry was posted in Adoption, Adoption Washington, Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Five Days That Last a Lifetime

  1. Pingback: Strong Families Q/A: “Should I consider a heritage or family camp vacation?” [2017 listing] | wacap

  2. Terry Potter says:

    Please don’t forget Laura Gaukroger-Holland, who originally spearheaded WFC with WACAP back in the 80’s! Because of her, I got involved and followed her lead, and learned so much from her. Thank you from the bottom of my ❤️, Laura & Wacap Staff, for creating such an amazing event – it was an honor to work with all of you.

  3. WACAP says:

    Yes, Terry Potter, kudos and many thanks go out to Laura Gaukroger-Holland for spearheading this wonderful event that has touched so many lives for so many years. And to all the organizers and volunteers over the years who make Family Camp Special. Thank you all!

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