Camp Moo Gung Hwa (TIN# 80-0594911) is a day camp designed to enhance adopted Korean-American children’s knowledge of Korean culture and to promote their self-esteem held annually in Raleigh, North Carolina. Classes and activities are taught by members of the Korean community and adult adoptees, and include history, language, literature, dance, Tae Kwon Do, music, cooking, arts, and crafts. Introducing the children to their native culture helps them build a sense of identity and encourages healthy self-esteem.
In August 1993, Raleigh/Durham area families with children adopted from South Korea were invited to a luncheon at the Duraleigh Presbyterian Church. Mike Smith, an adult Korean Adoptee, and other members of the church were instrumental in beginning a luncheon tradition.
The luncheon was very well received by both the members of the church and the adoptive families. The luncheon tradition continued in 1994.
In 1995, Camp Hodori, a three day camp for children four and over, was held and ended with the family luncheon. This became the foundation for the Triangle’s own Korean Culture Camp.
In 1996, the camp was incorporated and changed its name to Camp Moo Gung Hwa. Moo Gung Hwa is the Korean national flower and symbolizes everlasting renewal. It’s nearest American equivalent is the Rose of Sharon. The camp has been held every year from 1997 to present.
Camp is held every July, typically the 3rd week of the month from Wed – Saturday. Camp runs 9am -3pm. Each evening there is an optional family event which in the past has included the traditional family gathering at a local Korean restaurant, a pool party, roller skating, or bowling.
Prior to camp each year we have held a Children’s Day Celebration in May. This is an afternoon to let families get together and catch up, review plans for that years camp, meet new arrivals in the area, and let children reconnect. Children’s Day is an important traditional Korean celebration each year and has been a fun theme for this event. We typically hold this event in mid-May from 3-5pm.