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Pact Family Camp

adoptive family camp
adopted children family camp

What is Pact Family Camp all about?

The mission of Pact Family Camp is to provide a safe, honest, child-centered, anti-racist space where adopted children and youth of color can connect with peers and mentors who share their identities and experiences, and where their parents can dig deeply into not only the joys but also the challenges of adoption, race, and family. 

Through a week-long immersive program, we set in motion a transformative experience that continues to impact families long after camp is over. Children and parents come away with a deeper understanding of the complexities of adoption, new language they can use to talk about it, and the knowledge that they are not alone on the lifelong journey of adoption.

A different kind of camp

Pact Family Camp offers you and your children life-changing learning experiences, while also enjoying fun family activities, comfortable resort accommodations, and fully catered meals. Join us!


At Pact Family Camp:

  • Adopted children of color get support learning and talking about their identities, from role-model mentors who understand them
  • Most camp counselors and featured speakers are people of color with a personal connection to adoption
  • Parents learn and grow as much as their children do
  • We address the complexity of having two families
  • We recognize the impact of loss and trauma
  • We bond and celebrate as a community

Pact members receive early notification when camp registration opens; join Pact today to stay updated.

Two Locations

Pact Family Camp West

The dates and location of Pact Family Camp West 2024 will be confirmed later this year. Please check back later this fall for updates.

If you have questions about Pact Family Camp, please click on the inquiry form below.

Pact Family Camp East

The dates and location of Pact Family Camp East 2024 will be confirmed later this year. Please check back later this fall for updates.

If you have questions about Pact Family Camp, please click on the inquiry form below.

The Pact Family Camp Experience

At Pact Family Camp, families with adopted children of color—from infants to teens—gather for five days to build community, learn together, and have fun, based on Pact’s child-centered, race-conscious, honesty-based approach to adoption, race and family. Families enjoy the comforts of an all-inclusive resort vacation, including hotel-style accommodations and amenities, and fully catered meals. Pact’s core staff are on-site to make sure camp goes smoothly, and over 75% of the counselors have been with us for three years or more. You can count on this highly experienced team to deliver a well-organized and thoughtful program for both children and adults!

A typical day at camp consists of concurrent programming for adults and children, all centered around race, adoption and family.  After your camp day is over, there are optional family activities in the afternoon and evening to promote community. No one should travel the lifelong journey of adoption in isolation. The relationships built at Pact Family Camp can last long after the week is over.

Youth Program

Children ages 3-18 spend their days in age-matched groups with counselors who reflect their racial and/or adoption identities. They learn to talk about race, adoption and family in a way that promotes belonging while acknowledging trauma. For many kids, Pact Family Camp is the one place where they really feel they belong. From preschoolers to high school students, each group has many opportunities for sharing experiences, making friends, and having fun!

Adult Program

While the children are in their programs, adults learn from thought-provoking keynote speakers, interactive workshops, discussion groups, film screenings and performances. Through education, sharing, and community-building, parents leave camp better equipped to walk alongside their children on their adoption journey.

Family Time

There’s plenty of time for fun too!  In the afternoon and throughout the evening, we offer family crafts, game nights, swimming, ice cream socials, camp fires, and dance parties.   These optional activities are great opportunities for your family to relax and have fun together as your day winds down.

“I have found great commonality between my own experience of racial ambiguity raised by a white mother and that of many of youth who attend our Camps. My passion is supporting children in defining their identity in positive ways in a racialized world and creating a safe space where we can all work to support the youth and create a more just world for them to grow into. I cannot wait to welcome you all.”

Deanna Matthews

Pact Family Camp Director

Who comes to Pact Family Camp?

Pact Family Camp is a welcoming, inclusive community

Pact Family Camp is for adopted children of color and their families, which can include adoptive parents, first/birth parents, non-adopted siblings, and other relatives. Click below to learn more.

Adoptive parents of color

We are committed to ensuring a safe, positive, and supportive space for adoptive parents of color and their families, who are too often under-served in adoption. Parents of color currently make up about one-third of the adoptive parents attending Pact Family Camp. We cultivate a welcoming, inclusive, multiracial community for all participating families. However, we recognize that adoptive parents of color have different priorities than white transracial adoptive parents. We offer options throughout the week that allow adoptive parents of color to choose programming designed specifically to meet their needs, and gather in affinity spaces designated exclusively for them.

“So many of us expressed our relief with the number of POC-headed families and the time set aside for us each day.  It is incredible to find an organization that understands and values the experiences of adoptive parents of color.”Adoptive parent of color

White parents parenting across racial lines

At Pact Family Camp, white parents of adopted and fostered children of color make up about two-thirds of the adults in attendance. We offer specific programming focused on parenting across racial lines and “brave spaces” in which to explore concepts of racial identity, including white supremacy and white fragility. We place great value on creating opportunities for everyone to interact as a multiracial community, while recognizing the value of having affinity groups where folks can dig deeply into the complex intersections of race, adoption and identity for children who are adopted transracially.

Camp changed our lives. Though we considered ourselves to be aware of the intensity of the journey we are on, Pact Camp renewed our dedication to the raising of a strong black woman and of continuing to be the anti-racist advocates that we have been, but on a more active level. It gave us information and tools to be better parents.”White transracial adoptive parent

First/birth parents

In too many adoption settings, first/birth parents and their families are marginalized and made to feel unwelcome. We are delighted when adoptive and first/birth families in open adoptions can attend Pact Family Camp together, as a way of deepening their relationships. First/birth parents are included in Camp as full program participants, and some serve as guest speakers or counselors. We offer opportunities for first/birth parents to gather as a group at Camp for peer support and education.

“Pact Camp is a community unlike any other. It continually awakens awareness and compassion for everyone impacted by adoption. Knowing that I am not alone and have a safe space to share my feelings and questions–the most important thing for me was being around others who either share my experience or value my experience; helping me to release the emotional pain of my decision.”—First/Birth Parent Camper

Adult adoptees

At Pact, we believe in placing the needs of adopted people at the center of our work. No one knows more about the experience of adopted children of color than adult adoptees of color. Each year 30-50 adult adoptees and former foster youth of color participate in Pact Family Camp, primarily as youth counselors and guest speakers. Listening deeply to and learning from the expertise of adopted adults of color is an absolutely essential part of Pact Family Camp.

Every exchange – and I truly do mean every exchange – was such an incredible opportunity to grow, to learn and to challenge myself in a way that I hope brings forth real change in my own life.  The chance to stretch myself and to be given multiple opportunities to do so much meaningful and relevant self-exploration in a safe, supportive and loving community is nothing short of a true gift  – and I am truly indebted to you both for providing this profound experience in my life.”– Adult adoptee

Camp Fees & Registration

Pact Family Camp is a five-day all-inclusive experience; camp fees cover resort-style accommodations and amenities, all meals, and a fully-staffed program of daily activities for adults, children, and families. We offer sliding-scale fees that keep Camp affordable for lower- and middle-income families. We award almost $100,000 in scholarships to income-qualified families that can lower the cost to as little as $200 per individual.

Pact Family Camp is in high demand and there is a limit on the number of families that can be accommodated. We sell out every year and always have a waitlist. We use a lottery system to ensure that those who hope to attend have an equitable opportunity. To enter the lottery, you must register for Pact Family Camp and submit a deposit of $200 per camper We are holding 60 slots for new families (first time at Pact Family Camps), half of which are specifically for families led by adoptive parents of color.

Deadline to enter lottery and submit deposit: 2024 deadline TBA

Lottery results/admissions announcement: 2024 deadline TBA

Registration open to families on waitlist: As spaces become available.

2024 Camp Fees

Camp fees are set on a sliding scale based on family income. As part of our commitment to equity, the fees paid by higher-income families help cover the true cost of camp and contribute to the scholarship fund for lower-income families. In this way we ensure that the Pact Family Camp community is truly diverse and inclusive. Fees for Pact Family Camp 2024 will be announced later this year.

Need-Based Scholarships

Our goal is to make Pact Family Camp accessible to adoptive and first/birth families of all income levels. Need-based scholarships are available that allow lower-income families to pay subsidized fees. To qualify, you must submit a scholarship application verifying your income. There is high demand, so be sure to submit your application by the lottery deadline. If you qualify but the scholarship fund has been exhausted, you will be offered the option to pay the lowest “full fee” for your family size.

If you have questions about fees or scholarships, please click on the inquiry button below.

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