Local News

Summer Camp Brings Adopted Korean Children Back To Their Roots

Posted July 25, 2001

— A special day camp is taking place in Raleigh this week. The campers come from all over the Southeast. They may have different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common -- they were all adopted from Korea.

Usually lunch at a children's camp is peanut butter and jelly or hot dogs for lunch. At Raleigh's Camp Moo Gung Hwa, though, lunch is a dish many of us have never heard of, called Bebimbab. It is a rice mixture with all different types of vegetables, and on top of that, the campers put hot sauce and non-hot sauce, which is a soy sauce.

More than 60 Korean-American children are learning how to make this traditional Korean dish at Camp Moo Gung Hwa.

"It's very good. Very salty, too," said a camper.

The idea is not just to teach these kids how to cook, but to give them a taste of their heritage, too. All were born in Korea, but are too young to remember life in their native country.

"It just want to remember it so that if I ever go back I'll have some history. Or if I never go back, I can remember my culture and heritage," said another camper.

Camp Moo Gung Hwa will help them do that. Volunteers from the Duraleigh Korean Presbyterian Church will spend the next three days exposing the children to all aspects of Korean life. The group is making passports to learn the Korean national emblem and to help them remember their journey to the U.S. That is something they all have in common.

The goal is to let these kids celebrate their heritage together and to help their self-esteem as they get older.

The camp is the largest Korean culture camp in the Southeast. It continues through Saturday.

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