Friday, August 14, 2009

Korean Culture Camp

Last week was an incredible week for the kids and for us as well. The Korean Culture camp is a 33 Year old program and has campers from across the US and Europe as well. It was the first year for the Loudamericans and the Van Meters and a second term for the Buckley's and the Waldon/ Werner's. This camp is even starting to have campers whose parents were campers. Too cool.

The camp was spread over the Minnehaha High School campus and the place was packed with around 300 campers and a whopping 250 volunteers. Tom was in the Kitchen 4 out of the 5 days.

The camp offered many different Korean focused classes from music, dance, Tae Kwon Do and self esteem (Jimmy's favorite). It is about the whole adoption process and how everyone is unique and special. Jimmy came home day one and said " This Korean Culture Camp is awesome, it is full of people just like me, Korean Americans. There are barely any American Americans.". It was enough to bring tears to your eyes. Kay and Billy as well found a place full of people like them and they all had a blast.

The kids got to have real Korean treats which was interesting because they have not really had them before but they really like them, go figure. At one point the camp was handing out blow pops you know those suckers that have gum in the middle. When it came time for the kids to get theirs, they ALL wanted the sour apple, a Korean favorite I suppose. I mentioned it to the self esteem instructor and he said..."yeah, me too but now they are all gone, look at all the Korean kids, we need better inventory management".

Each day we asked the kids "what was your favorite part". Everyday...the same answer... LUNCH!! The kids would all come through the lunch line like they had never eaten before. The rice, bugolgi, chop chay, kim chee, mondu, chicken it was a varietal smorgasbord of delicacies available everyday for LUNCH, man am I hungry.

The week ended with a performance on Saturday that included many of the things the kids learned over the week. Jimmy learned Tae Kwon Do and broke his first board. The crowd went nuts! Kay was in the dancing and signing portion of the program and was super cute.

There were several quotes and moments of intense joy and sadness however the one that I think sticks out the most was an interchange between Joey and Jimmy.:

Jimmy: Joey do you like Korean Camp?

Joey: Yeah it is a blast!

Jimmy: Me too I wish we could have Korean Camp everyday!

Joey: Me too, but these people all have real jobs:(

We are looking forward to camp next August!! In the meantime it is off to Mirror of Korea to get our food fix.