On Camp Naro’s 640-acre campus, each day began with a conversation about the Korean American experience. Campers then participated in activities such as taekwondo and cooking authentic Korean dishes. Korean-American snowboarder and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kilo Kim also stopped by for a day.
“Our upbringings may be unique; however, there are a lot of cultural components that bind us together. I think when we’re able to foster a community that really understands that, it’s really allows us to feel more comfortable and safe,” said camp director Benjamin Oser. A Korean adoptee who grew up outside Princeton, NJ, he attended an immersion camp himself in the mid-1990s and estimates that Naru is now one of about 15 such camps in the United States.
This year’s camp will be held in East Stroudsburg, Penn., on the east side of the Poconos. Bringing campers together in these unique natural spaces away from their everyday homes, “it creates a sense of security, and, in a way, it’s like creating a bubble,” he explained. And within this safe harbor, campers are free to explore.