Adopteen’s 2016 summer schedule closed out with one last hoorah this past weekend with the 2nd Annual Adoptstronauts Weekend Retreat. This year has been an amazing journey for all involved, with exciting new developments and splendid fun had by all.
The summer’s first Adopteen Camp-Conference marked another important milestone – our first international conference! From June 30-July 4, 2016, Adopteen explored the Great White North in Vancouver, British Columbia. Though it was a smaller group at just 37 campers (representing 15 states, 13 provinces and two countries ranging from age 13-21), we had all the fun of a bigger group, while also being able to take the time to bond more as a team. Campers had the chance to visit popular sites around the beautiful city of Vancouver during a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour, as well as visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Workshops included History of Adoption, Self-Confidence, Dance, Friendship Bracelets, Tie Dye and Survival 101. Fantastic conversations were had, amazing milkshakes were drank, dancing and laughing happened and we’ll be missing Vancouver always.
As soon as we got back from Vancouver, it was time for the Summer Adoptees Giving Back–Orphanage Service Trip (AGBOST) in Anhui! This 10 day trip from July 13-23, 2016 was Adopteen’s fourth summer trip, and we brought 25 travelers along with two chaperones to volunteer for the children of Hefei City Children’s Welfare Institute. Travelers ranged in age from 15-21 and represented 13 states and 10 provinces (with 7 coming from Anhui Province!). Before they even stepped foot in China, this group of travelers made AGBOST history with the most money ever raised for a province–over $9,000! This money was used to purchase 10 industrial washers, three widescreen televisions, and two large refrigerators. The remainder of the funds were dispersed amongst other Charity Fund projects and orphanages in need. For five days–an entire work week–travelers volunteered with the children in the orphanage, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. As always, each child has made a lasting impression on all of our hearts that we will never forget. We are so thankful to the amazing staff at Hefei City Children’s Welfare Institute for their never-ending kindness and generosity.
Washington, D.C. and Georgetown University provided the perfect backdrop for an amazing week at the second Camp-Conference of the summer from August 3–7,2016. 70 campers representing 34 states, 16 provinces and 2 countries, ages 13-21 joined us for a hot, humid, spectacular time. We cruised on the Potomac to spend some valuable time with the riverside monuments, as well as visited the National Mall for a “choose your own adventure” style day with museums and sights galore. On campus, we played Adopteen’s version of Mario-Kart (balloons, all the balloons), had some friendly team competitions, showed off our talents during the Adopteen Talent Show and hosted workshops including: Cooking, Ballroom Dancing, Self-Confidence, Personality Tests, Self-Defense, Tie Dye and Adoption 101! D.C. was amazing–a very genuine and special thank you to our fantastic volunteers in the area is due. We could not possibly have done it without you!
The 2nd Annual Adoptstronauts Weekend Retreat, our final event of the summer, was a beautiful and relaxing overnight in the mountains of Colorado and a perfect cap to the season. This was a quick opportunity for our adoptee friends over the age of 18 to meet up with one another and connect for the year. Attended by eight adoptees age 18-24 and led entirely without Adopteen staff (huge thanks to Claire Deskin and Jenny Trenchard, who coordinated the entire event!), the night was full of good food, conversation and a dash of Adopteen fun.
Thank you again to everyone that made 2016 special for Adopteen. We made huge strides and cannot wait to get started on yet another year of life-changing programs and meaningful fun. Look out for our entire calendar of events for 2017 by the end of September, including:
- the 2nd Annual Adopteen Fundraiser
- Adopteen Midpoint
- Adopteen Camp-Conferences
- 2016-2017 AdopTween!
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