Hi everyone! LaRayne here, St. Joseph’s Native American Studies teacher. Each year, I work into the summer, providing Native American Studies for the Lakota children who attend day camp.
Giving and Receiving is going around St. Joseph’s Day Camp. I wish that you could all see the relationships building between our campers and staff at St. Joseph’s Indian School! The whole group is like a sponge; taking in the learning, loving and living that happens all day long.
The staff and kids get to eat breakfast together and answer questions like “what’s your favorite movie?” and “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
The kids are eager to get to know our young camp counseling staff, and staff members are just as eager to make the day’s experience meaningful for all. After breakfast, the kids play games together or learn about more of their Lakota culture through Native American Studies.
This year, the kids are playing Lakota hand games and we are reading several books that pertain to the daily lesson, like creating star knowledge constellations, painting horse designs. We are also touring the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center on our campus and learning about dream catchers, hair braiding, Lakota songs, colors, numbers, and ledger art. Through all of these activities, the campers and counselors learn a little bit about each other and even about themselves. Sharing in learning, arts and crafts, swimming, playing and eating are great ways to spend the day!
I especially like that three of my four daughters have been able to give back to our organization by being a part of our day camp. To watch my girls spend time with our day campers is good for my spirit and drives me to understand why we are here doing the work we do.
We are striving to create a great day for our day campers and, in the middle of it all, we get to feed our spirits with the gifts the Lakota children bring each day as well.