Summer Camp at the Asia-Pacific Cultural Center

Now that parents and school children have been immersing themselves in summer break, it’s a great time for kids to spend some of their free time to learn more about the diverse world we live in! The Asia Pacific Cultural Summer Camp is a chance for kids to learn about the cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Over the 3 – 5 day sessions, kids will learn about 15 different countries such as China, Thailand, Samoa, Philippines, India and many others. There will be a country theme, each day.  Kids will have fun with games, arts, crafts, language, history, and even food from these regions.
Jasmine Argel, APCC Fund Development Associate and Asia Pacific Cultural Summer Camp Committee Member, explained how the program came about, “There are many summer camps in the area that focus on sports or arts and crafts or outdoors, and we thought “What a great time to have a camp that would give school-aged kids a chance to experience the Asia Pacific!” APCC has another program called the Asia Pacific Cultural Treasure Trunks Project that we offer throughout the year at schools and libraries, and we decided to try to pattern our summer camp off of that program. Similar to our Cultural Treasure Trunks Project, we want to give kids the chance to “travel” across the Pacific to different countries and not just see pictures in books and hear people talk about the culture, but to actually learn and do some of the customs, participate in some of the traditional games, and learn some of the language and history, and make some of the arts and crafts from these countries – all taught by instructors who are Asian or Pacific Islander and know the customs and speak the language.”

The Camp day starts off with a breakfast, then the day continues with an introduction to the featured country of the day. Children will learn how to say the traditional greeting in the language such as “Sawatdee” in Thai or “Talofa” in Samoan as well as other phrases. They will learn geography of where these countries are located and history about the country. Throughout the day, Children will learn traditional games, like Sungka in Philippines, and read or listen to stories from these countries. There will be a lot of hands-on arts and crafts, such as Chinese calligraphy, as well as music and dance like Hawaiian hula and chants. At some sessions, children will be able to prepare a traditional food dish to eat. Lunch will be served mid-day. Most activities will be indoors, with some outdoor activities depending on weather.

Jasmine’s role in the camp includes being on the APCC’s Summer Camp Committee who helped plan the camp. She is also one of the instructors for the Philippines’ day during the 2nd Session of the Camp.  Jasmine commented on the camp, “Learning and experiencing other cultures helps keep life dynamic and interesting and keeps us from being stagnant and dull by only focusing on ourselves. This Summer Camp is a great chance for kids to learn early about the different people in our world and they get to experience it first-hand with people who are from these Asia Pacific cultures.”

Camp details:
Cost $100 per session ($90 for APCC members). Children may attend more than one session. Breakfast and lunch are served, and included in the cost.

Ages: Camps are for children age 8-12, but there is some flexibility in ages. Parents can contact us for exceptions.
Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:30am-3:00pm.

Session 1: July 15-19
Session 2: July 22-26
Session 3: July 29-August 3

Although Session 1 of the Summer Camp has already started, it is still not too late to sign up for Session 2 or 3, as long as space is still available.

Location: All sessions are held at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center (formerly the South Park Recreation Center) located at 4851 South Tacoma Way Tacoma WA 98409.

Registrations forms are available for download, on the website, and at the APCC. Payment is accepted in person, or over the phone, with an e-mailed registration to

For more information about the camp, please contact Aime Herrell, Coordinator; or Lua Pritchard, Executive Director at: (253) 383-3900 or visit:

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for

Edited by Reba Winstead, editor for

3 thoughts on “Summer Camp at the Asia-Pacific Cultural Center”

  1. Hafa Adai, – Pronounced as Half A Day

    Mogethin – Pronounced as Mo Gay Them


    Talofa – Pronounced as Tal Low Fount : ) All mean hello from the islands of Guam, Yap in the South Pacific Island of Micronesia and American Samoa respectively. With the help and encouragement from a friend long gone I visited the Asia Pacific Cultural Center a few times. Not only did I learn a few things but I enjoyed myself there. The APCC takes great pride in who they are by having summer luau’s, a monthly movie night with an Asian themed movie and food. The volunteers also help and love showing others a way of life that is slowly being forgotten in this fast growing culture of technology. The kids and people today are losing touch with the old ways. So it’s up to the APCC to re-teach them of this rich culture. The events written here is that step forward. So I would encourage everyone to visit. I took my 17 year old son who has a Peruvian heritage to an Asian culture event a few months ago. And although he would have rather stayed home playing video games. He did learn a few things and we had a great conversation later about what we learned. It’s important never forget who you are, where you came from and keep the important people in life close by.

  2. What a great idea for a camp! Sounds like a great experience! Do they also get to learn the customs and values of each culture? I think it would be interesting to learn the signs of respect as well as some folk stories!

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