Saturday, May 23, 2009

Taiwanese American Summer Camp Season

Hello friends of

Yay! We recently surpassed 3000+ members on our Facebook group!

We've basically doubled our reach in 6 months! So, thanks to all of you for joining our Taiwanese American community network and for continuing to invite your friends and family! My guess is that we can reach 5000 by year's end with your help!

So, in this edition, I'm pleased to talk a little about what got me interested in building community in the first place! Taiwanese American youth summer camps!

Some of you know I grew up in the Midwest in the suburbs of Chicago where Asian Americans were relatively few in numbers (at least back in my day). When I was first introduced to the week-long Taiwanese American Foundation summer camp (originally in Michigan) where fellow 2nd generation youth could meet, have fun, build leadership skills, and develop a strong sense of identity and pride, that experience changed my life forever. During the 1990's, I spent a good part of that decade helping to run grade school and youth programs for TAF and TAC on the east coast. Nowadays, all the kids I worked with back then have grown up, and naturally, I've been drawn to the next level - speaking at collegiate conferences and building the young professional network.

Out of this extension of community, I created to capture and highlight all the wonderful events and organizations that have evolved as community has grown too. The age range of the audience is wide. Many of you are still in high school and college, and others of you have been working professionals for quite some time. I know we also have many parents, both 1st and 2nd generation, tuning in.

All of you, I know, have some connections to younger Taiwanese Americans out there - whether they're family members, relatives, or friends. I hope you might consider inviting them to join in on one of the summer camps taking place all across the country in the coming months. It's an experience they'll probably never forget, and in the end, it makes our community a lot stronger. I should know; I used to hop around from camp to camp, and you'll find me at many of them today still!

To highlight a few:

Taiwanese American Youth Leadership Camp in the SF Bay Area
June 18-21, 2009 @ Headland Institute, Marin County (north of SF)

TAA South Summer Conference
June 26-28, 2009 @ Dallas Fort Worth Airport Marriott South

Taiwanese American Next Generation (TANG) Summer Camp
July 2-5, 2009 @ Villanova University, outside of Philadelphia, PA

Southeast Taiwanese American Association Summer Camp (SETAA) in Florida
July 3-5, 2009 @ Ramada Orlando Celebration Resort & Convention Center

Taiwanese American Foundation (TAF) Summer Conference
July 26 - August 2, 2009 @ Manchester College, North Manchester, IN

Leadership & Identity Development (TACL LID) Camp in Southern California
August 5-9, 2009 @ Pine Springs Ranch, Mountain Center, CA


If you're a college student or young professional looking to contribute to these camps, either financially or as a staff member, feel free to contact the organizations directly. Or inquire with me, as I know most of the leaders and organizers.

Have a great summer! And I hope to see you around this summer!

Ho Chie Tsai
creator of and Big Kid at heart.

P.S. Check out the latest Spotlight featuring Chris Lin, who also grew up with the Taiwanese American Foundation summer conference. Nowadays, he's building bridges for future generations to learn Mandarin skills through his children's books and preschool TV shows!

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