My children are still infants/toddlers/very young. Is this a good time for us to come to camp or should we wait until they are older?
We encourage families to come with children of all ages. While the programmed activities begin with pre-school aged children, even very young children benefit from the bonds formed at an early age with children in families that look like theirs. More importantly, our camp provides an opportunity for parents to engage in discussions with other parents who share their concerns about raising our adopted children of color in a race-conscious society. There is no better time to begin having those discussions and making valuable connections than when your children are young and you are beginning your parenting journey.
Is Transracial Journeys Family Camp only for families with African American children adopted domestically?
We welcome all families with at least one child adopted transracially, whether adopted internationally or domestically, through the public system, or privately. It is our belief that adopted children of other racial/cultural backgrounds besides Black/African who are growing up without same-race parents have much in common, and can benefit from forming bonds with other adopted children of color, even if they do not share their racial background. However, because we are a small camp with limited resources, our programming focus is on families raising Black (including biracial) children. We aim to be inclusive and give children the tools and space to explore their own issues of identity, adoption, and race in age-appropriate ways, while supporting parents in their transracial adoptive parenting journeys.
I have biological children as well as adopted children? How will they fit in?
We welcome all siblings, whether adopted or not. We believe it is especially valuable for biological siblings to attend camp and participate fully in all the programming for their age group, as it gives them an opportunity to learn first-hand what it feels like for their adopted sibling, who is often in a racial minority. Furthermore, the programming provides an opportunity and a safe space for children to explore what race means to them and their own identity, learn about privilege in age-appropriate ways, and to develop tools to better understand their sibling(s) and be an ally in a world where racial injustice is pervasive, often subtle, and confusing for children.
Can we come for part of the weekend?
There is no option to attend for only part of the weekend, or to stay overnight elsewhere and attend during the days. Transracial Journeys Family Camp is a full-immersion experience; parents and children form bonds throughout the entire time of the camp program and it is important for all participants to have continuity in their peer group. For these reasons, we do not allow families to attend for less than the full 3 nights.
Our family is not Christian, not religious, or we are a same-sex couple. Since the camp is held at a Christian retreat center, will we feel comfortable and welcomed?
Yes! The location is a welcoming place that embraces diversity, and it is not a requirement for all guest groups to be Christian or faith-based. The philosophy and policy of Transracial Journeys is one of tolerance and inclusion, and we embrace diversity in all its forms, as it enriches the experience and the community in multiple ways.
Can we bring visitors for an evening or a meal?
No. Only campers who are registered for the camp may attend. We encourage additional adult family members to attend the camp, and have a discounted rate for families bringing more than two adults.
Can we camp?
RV camping is available, however there are no RV hookups available.
My toddler or pre-schooler is clingy or has separation anxiety with new caregivers. How will he/she be cared for?
The nursery staff will make every effort to comfort your child and create a fun, safe atmosphere. However, if a child is unable to adjust to the nursery care setting, we may need parents to stay with small children until they feel comfortable. Similarly, if your toddler needs an afternoon nap, it may be necessary for you to skip the afternoon parents’ session in order to allow for a nap.
Can I keep my toddler with me, if the nursery spaces are full?
We have limited the available spaces in the nursery in order to insure a safe and comfortable environment for the smallest campers, and balance out the age range of all the children at camp. Once the nursery is full, we can put your name on a waiting list in case of cancellations. However, we will not accept registrations for families with toddlers (3 and under) once the nursery is full, even if one parent is willing to skip the parents’ sessions to watch the toddler.
What about my teenagers? Do you have a teen group?
We’ve had teen groups depending on sign-ups and will definitely continue the teen group. We are developing great new things for the teen group to participate in. The teens and pre-teens will have some options for outdoor activities this year that we think they will especially enjoy. The camp setting is a perfect place for teens and pre-teens to have some independence within a supportive family setting while making valuable new friendships.
Who are the counselors?
We have a varied and growing staff of counselors ranging in age, experience, and professional background, who provide positive role models and engaging leadership for our children. We have at least one social worker on staff with experience working specifically with adopted and foster children. Several of our returning counselors are teachers experienced with children of various ages; some are college students; we actively recruit teen and adult adoptees who have experienced transracial adoption first-hand. All the counselors share a love of children, a commitment to the mission of the camp, an enthusiasm for creating a fun, caring, safe atmosphere, and an investment in helping to instill pride and confidence in our children through the contribution of their own perspectives and talents.
Do you have a ‘counselor-in-training’ (CIT) program?
Yes. Older teenagers who have been to camp at least one year can apply to be counselors-in-training. Exceptions may be made for mature younger teenagers who have attended camp multiple years already. All CITs must still attend camp with a registered parent.
Is this a therapeutic camp?
The emphasis for children is on building community, having fun, and exploring issues of race, adoption, and identity in safe and age-appropriate ways. We continue to increase our level of therapeutic support each year, yet should a child be unable to participate successfully in group activities or need to take a longer break, parents may be called in for support. Children who are currently experiencing significant behavioral or mental health challenges may need more active involvement of a parent.
Please note: We strive to create an atmosphere of inclusion, and welcome your family regardless of race and ethnicity, marital status, age, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin.