A First-Time Camper Shares Her Experience with Holt Adoptee Camp

Learn about Holt Adoptee Camp directly from our biggest participants: adoptees! Here, a camper who was part of our program in 2011 shares her experience.

Michael: Hey Rachel! Thanks for joining me for this conversation. We know each other but the rest of our readers don’t – could you tell me a little about yourself?

Rachel standing by tree
Rachel was a first-time camper in 2011.

Rachel: My name is Rachel. I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin and I’m 15. I was adopted from Fujian, China when I was three years old. I live with my adoptive mom.

M: Cool, can you tell me about some of the things you like to do for fun?

R: In my spare time I take Chinese and World Fusion dance, Kung fu, and I also like to play soccer.

M: Awesome! Those sound like some cool activities. So, you went to Camp this year, right? Was it your first time at Camp or had you been before?

R: It was my first time at camp. I was nervous that I wouldn’t meet new friends. I was happy that I did make friends and also saw some people I knew.

M: Can you tell me a little about what Holt Camp was like? What kind of environment was it?

R: When I first arrived to Holt Camp there was a mob of people who came to greet me. Everyone was very energetic and happy to be with each other. After being at camp for a couple days, I began to connect to everyone because they all had something in common with me. They were all adopted. We also had daily talks about adoption with the counselors and campers, which was very inspirational for me to hear what other people had to say about adoption.

M: Awesome! Thanks for sharing about that. It sounds like a really fun, exciting environment. You mentioned that everyone at Camp was adopted — does that include the adult counselors and staff? Were they all adopted? And was that important to you?

R: Everyone at camp was adopted including all the counselors and staff. I believe that it was very important to me that all of them were adopted. Since they were adopted, I was more able to relate to them because they went through the process of adoption like I did. Also they inspired me to always be a good person, like they are. Since I went to Holt Camp, it changed my idea of what I want to do when I grow up. Before I wanted to be a soccer player, but now I think it would be cool to work in adoption services and help people like me.

group of adoptees at Holt Camp wearing blue shirts

M: Wow, that’s really cool, Rachel. Congratulations on the new idea! Tell me what you thought were the most fun activities at Camp.

R: I really enjoyed the daily sessions about adoption. I also like the daily classes we would do at night. You could choose from a variety of things such as self-defense, fishing, Korean pop music dancing etc. You would pick from one of those and would go to the class every night

M: Cool – those are fun parts of Camp. Tell me if you’d recommend Camp to any or all Adoptees. And why or why not?

R: I would recommend Holt Camp to Adoptees because it is a great way to find out more about yourself. You get to share your adoption story if you want to. It is also a good way to meet people like you. It is just like a regular camp except with adoption added to it. The adoption part is really cool because you go to camp but learn about adoption at the same time.

M: Well, thanks for sharing all of this, Rachel! Do you have anything else you’d like to add for our readers?

R: I think that if you go to Holt Camp you will never regret that you went. When it was time to go home I was sad to leave all the friends I had met. I think everyone should be able to experience Holt Camp because it changes your perception on adoption!

three girls smiling for camera

Registration for Holt Adoptee Camp 2022 is now open!

At camp, adoptees have the chance to try new things, make new friends and share their experiences with other adoptees!

This program is available to all domestic, international, transracial or transcultural adoptees ages 9-17.

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