Two weeks ago, TACL-LYF successfully held its weeklong Taiwanese American summer camp, having so much fun in the sun with over 120 campers and 45 staff. The theme for this year’s LYF Camp was “When LYF Gives You Lemons,” and the campers worked on their problem-solving skills and leadership skills, while exploring Taiwanese American culture.


To give you a glimpse into all the cool stuff that went on, here is our interview with TACL-LYF President, Cynthia Su.

TACL: Camp ended a mere 2 weeks ago, what do you miss most about it already?

CS: The craziness and chaos of 170+ people in the same place at the same time!

TACL: LYF is one of the few “Taiwanese American” camps there are out there. What makes the camp Taiwanese/what Taiwanese activities did you guys do this year?

CS: LYF weaves together Taiwanese culture and the traditional American summer camp experience. We host a Night Market where campers play games to earn tickets to trade and haggle for food and prizes – Mandarin and Taiwanese highly encouraged! This year we featured pearl milk tea and gua bao as snacks at Night Market. We also held a dedicated culture clinic session where campers have the opportunity to choose amongst various activities such as: making tapioca pearls/tangyuan/dumplings; watching “Fresh Off The Boat” and discussing Taiwanese (Asian) American issues as related to their own lives; stamp making; aboriginal art; food tour of Taiwan; Diabolo yo-yo; and popular board games in Taiwan (for example: mahjong, Chinese Chess). Our camp families (groups with a cross-cut of ages consisting of big and little siblings) were named after exotic Taiwanese fruits such as Wax Apple, Dragonfruit, Longan, Loquat, and Passion fruit, to name a few. After lots of fun in the sun, campers enjoyed a refreshing bowl of homemade shaved ice featuring aiyu, grass jelly, red bean, lychee, and more!


TACL: You guys have the coolest logos and themes every year. What are some of your favorite logos and themes you’ve had in the past and how did you come up with this year’s theme?

CS: Circle of LYF (2015) and When LYF Gives You Lemons (2016) are two of my favorites. The Program Directors, Michelle and Kevin, decided on leadership for this year’s theme, then came up with life/LYF puns before deciding on “When LYF Gives You Lemons”. They also worked closely with our Creative Director, Johnny, to further develop the theme in terms of how it relates to leadership and what the Program Directors hope the campers will take away from this year’s camp.

TACL: What is your biggest hope that campers take away from camp each year?

CS: I hope campers find LYF to be a safe space where they are free to explore who they are, find out what they are capable of, and facilitate their growth and development.


TACL: Counselors and staff are usually young professionals who have to take 1 week off work during the summer to go to camp with the kids. How do you get these young professionals to dedicate that much time? What do you hope they take away from camp each year?

CS: A good number of our staff grew up with LYF (previously called Taiwanese American Youth Leadership, TAYL) and want to give back to the community by returning as group counselors, workshop heads, activity leads, media team and/or “synthesis” (our behind the scenes staff whom without we could not hold camp). Many of the staff who have never been to camp as a camper heard about it through friends and once they come, they just keep coming back.

TACL: What is your favorite part of camp?

CS: One of my favorites of this year’s camp was seeing campers step up and take ownership of leading their camp families during our Lemonade Stand workshop and throughout camp this year. Families were tasked with creating a unique Lemonade Stand idea, designing and building the stand, and delivering a pitch to the entire camp. It was very rewarding to see the older campers (and some of my past campers!) step up and lead their families to complete the challenge! Another favorite part for this year was the strong staff support when life threw lemons at us during camp (very fitting with our theme =] ). All of our staff really stepped up to help out where needed, checked in on one another to give support and lend a hand.


TACL-LYF is always looking for talented counselors! If you’re interested, drop them a line at

If you want to find out more about TACL-LYF camp, head over to their website at and like them on Facebook to get the latest updates.