August 11, 2014
2014 Vietnamese Heritage Camp | Estes Park, Colorado
On July 31st I returned to Colorado for my 9th Vietnamese Heritage Camp and my third camp as a director. We spent the past 3 weeks making final adjustments and planning prepared to execute another exciting camp. I rehearsed my new song every night leading up to camp leaving it up to the energy of the room to carry my tune from beginning to end. This year’s song was once again named after our camp theme We Are Family. Family has been a personal theme for me in 2014. My first child was born in March and I found out that I have a second cousin in Long Xuyen, Vietnam. In this song, I sang about the different types of family in my life. Watch the video
I was so happy and proud to have my ATG family join us at camp this year to share a workshop with our kids. Thank so much Tammy, George, Gabby, Austen, Kate, Carol, Nikki and Hue. Your voices meant so much to our kids. You are all an inspiration to them and an important piece of their identity and growth.
After a few days of down pour and flash floods the sun burst through at Estes Park. I was back with our special community of families. It’s amazing to see the kids growing up each year. Many of these teenagers for 5-7 years old when I first began volunteering. There are few a campers I had the honor a privilege to get to know very well over the past 5 years. It’s not easy hearing that you’re a role model. Hearing stories from their lives and everything they have accomplished makes me feel so proud. A few of them were ATG camp scholarship winners from 2011-2014. Check out our 2014 winners
This was a milestone year for me as I was directing for the last time and turning 40 on the last day of camp. Looking back I remember the joy of discovering this community and feeling so much joy for the younger generation of Vietnamese adoptees. They have a place to come together to bond and share stories. Adoptive parents can meet up and be part of a small support group for a long weekend in the mountains.
I always leave camp on Sunday with new information about my culture and heritage. I discover new pieces of my identity. Camp made me the person I am today and I will be forever grateful for having been part of it. This Sunday I was surprised with a birthday video created by my wife and 5 month old daughter. A new chapter has begun. With excitement and fears I know I will be ok with the love and support from all my families.
ATG Board Advisor
Thank you ATG for the birthday carrot cake and sweet gifts for Mali Anh. I hear 40 is the new 30.