By Chenyue Cai (CRS 2015)
Time moves so quickly at Camp. The bus arrives and before you know it, the bus leaves. It was difficult to leave such a supportive and loving community. As a Chinese camper, staying connected is difficult because of the 12-hour time gap and website blocking issues. Last year I became the CRSCAA website editor and have now taken the lead on Chinese camper selection… It’s been quite a year to get involved!
The CRSCAA has been doing a lot of interesting things lately, and we would like to share them with the CRS community. We hope this encourages other alumni associations to do more together. If you want to get your regional association together or do more, make sure to reach out to Mads Nissen, Alumni and Engagement Coordinator at LAJF, who was very helpful to us.
Alumni selection: The work of camper selection in Shanghai is given to the CRS Alumni who are currently attending Shanghai Foreign Language School, a long-time partner school. This year, a group interview was given to six finalists and the interviewer asked various questions to determine the top two candidates to attend Camp Rising Sun. This is a great opportunity to see ourselves reflected in this young candidates. The selection process in Tianjin is somewhat similar. There we are partnered with the Tianjin Foreign Language School.
Refreshing CRSCAA Website: We refreshed the official CRSCAA website, first initiated by three campers from 2010-2011 and maintained by Ziheng Zhou (CRS’2000), to share our camp stories. Chenyue Cai (CRS’2015) took on the editing responsibility of the website and with the help of a few other campers posted several articles including Q&A for new campers, reflection as a second year, 2016 camp picture wall. We plan to update the website more frequently in the future with more content around the whereabouts of our alumni around the world. Check out our website here: http://www.crscaa.org/
Stay connected: The in-school Alumni took photos on camp T-shirt day and made a great welcome video as well. We are also trying to simulate a council and originate other meaningful activities to celebrate the spirit of Camp Rising Sun.
An Invite-Only Facebook Group Was Set Up: 2005 alumnae Kate Yuan started a Facebook group in summer 2016 as a way to engage overseas CRS Alumni from China, as half of the alumni base is in the U.S. and Facebook is not easily accessible in China. Acquainted CRS alumni invited each other and the group soon grew to over 30 people.
Establishing CRS Chinese Alumni WeChat Group: Soon after the Facebook group gained some traction, a WeChat group was established, thanks to 2013 alumnae Lisa Zhou. Today, the WeChat group has 60+ members, with the oldest alumni attending CRS as far back as in 1994! Old friends reconnected, new campers were introduced, and memories of Rhinebeck were shared. Moreover, we are able to use this platform to update everyone with the latest camp news and photos, and reengage alumni who have been out of touch with the CRS community.
New Campers: We are very excited to share that a total of 5 young adults will be joining CRS this coming summer – two from Shanghai (Harry Z. and Yanbing X.), two from Tianjin (Eric Y. and Mingxi Z.), and William W. from Shanghai who will be a second-year! We hope the very best for them and can’t wait to hear their experiences.
Fundraising: Our goal this year is to get all of the Chinese alumni to make a donation, no matter what size. Tim Wong, '79, who lived and worked in China for many years, is providing a match to encourage the Chinese alumni to become donors.