This Was: Diaspora Camp

by Andrea Szirbik

We had 26 six to sixteen years old participants from Washington, Oregon and Texas in this year’s WA Diaspora Camp! We were lucky, because we could rent last year’s Airbnb place again and spent four days together in a beautiful natural area in Redmond. Plus, we were again able to use the attached dance studio, where we performed on the last day for parents and guests, and where we held our Hungarian folkdance lessons, organized by an instructor from Texas.

We also met the folksong teacher from Hungary via Zoom on the big screen in the studio. She taught us a great new folksong.
The camp’s lead topic was “Hungarian folktales”. On the first day, we tie-dyed our T-Shirts, and put on the camp logos. For those, who spent the nights at the camp, we held a Thanksgiving dinner with all the yummy ingredients, like turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, etc. etc. We all sat down and enjoyed the dinner in peace and candlelight.

On the second day we created puppets, and the older children performed a puppet show for the younger ones. We also made candles that day, and for snacks we ate all the fruit animals that the kids created out of fresh food. Also on Saturday, the kids decorated an amazing illustration prepared by our KCSPs, and in the evening we had an obstacle course and a great campfire,
where we sang our favorite songs.

On Sunday, which was sadly our last day, we sawed circle shaped wood pieces, put tiny holes into them, and drew on those. Everyone decided if they wanted to use theirs as a Christmas tree ornament or necklace. In the afternoon, we performed the show that we had been practicing every day in intense drama lessons. The show was phenomenal, we even had a face painter
who created amazing paintings.

I would like to express my gratitude to all the teachers from Washington, Oregon and Texas for their tireless amazing volunteer work—without that, the camp would not have happened! I am extremely proud of the children; they were fantastic and so was their behavior. See everyone next year. The 2023 camp’s lead topic will be old Hungarian tales/ knights and kings.

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