Summer Day Camp with LaRayne

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.

The Lakota students love playing outdoor games at day camp!
Erika and the other girls line up for dodge ball.

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!

Visiting the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is a great educational experience for the Native American children who attend day camp.
The boys and girls learn about their Lakota (Sioux) culture as part of day camp as well.

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.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

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