Adoption camp takes teen by surprise


Tianna Carlow
Focus on Adoption magazine

If your kids reject the idea of hanging out with other adoptive families, Tianna Carlow's experience might just change their minds.

A camping trip with other adoptive families is not usually the first thing a teen wants to do for the weekend.

In fact, up until we went to Camp Homewood last year, my siblings and I tried to avoid such activities. It didn’t matter to us if we were adopted or not. The only reason we agreed to that particular weekend was because they had activities like horseback riding, archery, rifle shooting, and boating and, besides, we thought we could just stick together for the weekend.

Sticking together was working pretty well, but then we started meeting other people and they weren’t as weird as we thought they must be—we assumed we were the only adoptive family that wasn’t full of freaks! We made some really good friends that we now look forward to seeing at different adoption-related functions.

Just recently, we met other adoptive families for a camping trip. Seven families came out for the weekend, with a total of 46 children. The drive out there took forever, but the wait was definitely worth it. I got to see a different side of not only my siblings, but everybody that was there. We went swimming and relaxed by the fire. I guess it is good to get away from the TV and computers, although it would have been nice to have some good music. I cannot believe we had to listen to “country” music that people from a different group thought was good. It shouldn’t even be called music—but that is a different story altogether.

I asked my siblings, whose ages range from almost two years to 20 years, what they liked best about the weekend. Everyone enjoyed swimming and playing on the dock. They were also happy to see old friends again and meet new ones. In spite of the country music, my teenage siblings really enjoyed being able to have a campfire away from the adults and little rowdy kids. Some people enjoyed fishing, one family even caught a fish. Other’s went on a hike around the lake which wasn’t as relaxing as it was intended—my Dad doesn’t know what happened to that trail but says it used to be there!

When I spoke with other parents, they all thought it was a great weekend. There were plenty of children for everyone to play with and, other than a small biking accident, there were no problems. Everyone had a great time.

When I asked people if they would do it again, there was no doubt about it—yes! If I had to come up with something bad about the camping trip, I would say it wasn’t long enough, though I’m sure the thought it was just the right amount of time—long enough to have fun, short enough that there was no trouble!