Frequently Asked Questions about Chinese Family Camp (CFC) - Just the FAQs

PART I - What is Midwest CFC? [TOC]

* What is the mission of CFC?
- The Midwest CFC unites a multi-generational community of extended Chinese American families for a week of fun and recreation in a modern resort setting. We socialize, celebrate our culture and heritage, and learn from each other about being Chinese in America. Since 1958, our annual gatherings continually create and sustain deep and lifelong friendships that are truly priceless.

CFC welcomes all families who would like to mix their interest in Chinese culture with the fun and recreation of a week-long "camp" set in the environment of an Indiana resort hotel. From the early years through today, the goal of CFC has been to foster a positive image and understanding of the special circumstances of Chinese families - grandparents, parents, and children, blended families, adoptive families - living in or having connections to the American Midwest.

* Who attends CFC? How many?
- People of all ages attend CFC, usually with relatives. Their connections to China vary from direct to indirect. There are singles and couples who come without children, although most adults are parents or grandparents. Typically 75-90 people attend the entire week, with 10-20 more campers joining us by the weekend. New families make new friends quickly, especially the children.

* Why do families return year after year?
- Some people have attended CFC since the 1960's. Others return when they become parents after skipping many years. Those who return find a sense of community that is both fun and comforting. It's a pretty good bargain for a resort vacation. Hard not to like that food is provided, organized activities are lead by dedicated volunteers, and there is plenty of time to talk and play with family and friends.

* When is Family Camp?
- CFC occurs one week every year in the mid to latter portion of July and goes from a Sunday evening to the following Sunday morning. Although most people go for the whole week, some only attend the final weekend. New families are encouraged to arrive before Friday in order to experience the Heritage and Arts and Crafts program held during the week.

* How do I register?
- The registration form is available on the website usually by the end of February each year. Prior to camp, the registration form, and a specific deposit amount, need to be sent to the Director/Registrar as specified on the registration form. Contact the Director/Registrar, Lawrence Wang, at physmedmd2@aol.com if you have any questions and/or concerns.

PART II - What do you do at Chinese Family Camp? [TOC]

* What is the daily schedule?
- Typically, organized daily activities start at 7:15am and are essentially over by 9:30pm. In recent years, breakfast started at 8:00am, lunch at 12:00, and dinner at 5:30pm. The planned activities such as Arts and Crafts (all ages), sports, or the Chinese Heritage program run in the morning or afternoon for a couple hours. Group fun is scheduled every evening after dinner from 7:00 to 9:00, with evening snacks starting around 9:00pm.

* How are meals handled?
- All meals at Amish Acres will be in the Beam Room of the Restaurant Barn unless an exception is noted in the camp schedule. Breakfast is a continental buffet. Lunch is served buffet style. Dinners are served buffet or family style. Dinner on the first Sunday is not included. Breakfast the final Sunday is included.

* Is alcohol allowed? Is smoking allowed?
Alcohol is not allowed in the public areas of Amish Acres although beer and wine may be purchased, by those 21 and older, at the Restaurant Barn. Smoking is not allowed inside any of the buildings.

* What kinds of outdoor or sports activities are there?
- Amish Acres has a pool on-site. A park two miles away has facilities for tennis, basketball, softball, a swimming pool, and a playground. Golf and bowling are nearby. An excursion to Lake Wawasee or a water park may be arranged.

* Where are indoor activities held?
- CFC uses three rooms at Amish Acres for CFC group activities: the Lilac Room at the Inn, the Barn Loft Grill at the Restaurant Barn and the Locke Hall at the Greeting Barn. Daytime activities are in the Barn Loft Grill. Evening fun is at various locations but mainly in Locke Hall. Evening snacks are in the Lilac Room.

* Will there be computers set up?
The CFC IT crew plans to set up in the Lilac Room. There is usually an ink jet printer. That room is reserved for use by CFC 24/7.

* Can I check my email?
In addition to the IT set up, some campers bring laptops. WiFi is available at the Inn and at the Restaurant Barn. The password at the Inn is amishacresinn and the password for the Restaurant Barn is amishwifiacres!0! for those that need to use WiFi.

* Is there a place to swim?
- There is an unheated outdoor pool next to the Inn at Amish Acres. The depth ranges from 4 feet to 6 feet. Pool towels are provided by the front desk.

* What languages are spoken?
- The primary language is English. Grandparents and a few others speak Chinese, mostly Mandarin, amongst themselves. Most of the American-born Chinese adults and children do not speak Chinese.

* Who is in charge of activities?
-CFC is run completely by volunteers. Lawrence Wang is the Director. There are dedicated people in charge of Arts and Crafts, the Chinese Heritage Program, Evening Activities, Group Sports, Snacks, and so on. A number of volunteers have helped out at Camp for many years, following a family tradition started by their parents.

* Are group activities required?
- No, all activities are optional. Some parents who want to play golf--or shop or nap--are able to find a baby sitter for young children amongst other parents or older teens.

PART III - Where, How Much, and Other Questions [TOC]

* How much does attending Family Camp cost? What is covered?
Rooms are $90/night. Adult meals are $180/week. Children (age 4-11) meals are $90/week. Those aged 3 or younger eat free. A registration fee of $30/camper is also required whether a camper is registered for the full week or only for a portion of the week. An example: a family of four with two children aged 5 and 8, will pay about $1300 for the entire week. There is no credit for meals missed. In general, there are no fees for CFC activities held on-site at Amish Acres except for shows at the Round Barn Theater or Soda Shop group activities. Some off-site activities such as bowling, boating and golf require separate payment.

* How is final payment handled?
The deposit, made prior to camp, is applied to the final bill, which is given to families during Camp. The balance is paid before the end of Camp to the Treasurer or Director or the President of CFC, Inc. CFC can only accepts checks, no credit cards. Campers do not pay Amish Acres directly for lodging.

* Where is Family Camp held? Where do people stay?
- Beginning in 2009, Family Camp moved to Amish Acres in Nappanee, IN. The drive to northeast Indiana is 2-4 hours from the Chicago area, southern Michigan, southern Indiana, or Ohio. Lodging is at the Inn at Amish Acres. People who fly can go to Indianapolis, Chicago, Ft. Wayne, or South Bend.

* Do I have to stay at Amish Acres?
- Traditionally everyone stays at the main lodging location. If you would like to stay elsewhere nearby, please contact the Director/Registrar.

* What kinds of hotel rooms are available?
- Most rooms have two double beds. There are a limited number of handicapped access rooms with one double bed available. There are a few rooms with a king bed available, which also have a sofa bed, frig/microwave, and a 2-person whirlpool. All rooms have a hair dryer, coffee maker, and cable TV. A refrigerator cannot be added to a regular room.

* How are special rooms assigned, such as the handicapped rooms?
- In general, room assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis based on the postmark date for Registration Forms. The Director/Registrar may ask Campers to help out if someone with a later registration has a greater need for a special type of room.

* What is teen lodging?
- There is a lodging option for teenagers only, if they are interested and have their parents' permission. See page 2 of any registration form for details.

* Can a teenager attend without parents?
- Yes, a teenager may make arrangements with the Director to attend without a parent. An adult sponsor must agree to be responsible for the teen. The teen may stay in teen lodging, if available, or share a hotel room.

* Do people bring babies or toddlers?
- Yes, babies and toddlers are welcome with the rest of their family. Amish Acres is family friendly. A stroller is recommended.

* Is Family Camp for Christians only?
- No. Family Camp activities have no specific orientation to any religion.

* Is a car required during Camp?
- Although many activities are held at Amish Acres, a car is recommended. Rides are arranged for off-site activities such as golf, bowling or boating at Lake Wawasee. Most families have a car because they live within driving distance of Nappanee. Families who fly usually rent a car. There is plenty of free parking near the hotel.