A summer trip to the Black Hills

Welcome to the lofty heights of St. Joseph’s Summer Home!  I mean this in a literal sense, as over the last weekend we took the Lakota (Sioux) children on a camping trip to South Dakota’s Black Hills!

Thirteen Native American students, two St. Joseph’s houseparents and one intern (Genevieve) camped out for two nights.

We spend the first in the South Dakota Badlands, where we shared a campground with the buffalo and South Dakota’s infamous “gumbo” in the morning after a rainy night.

The second night, we camped at Center Lake in Custer State Park.  Genevieve commented that the campground looked like a postcard or like it was out of a TV commercial.

The highlight of the trip was the hike up Harney Peak, the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.  The kids did an amazing job on the two-hour hike from Horse Thief Lake to the fire tower on the summit of Harney Peak. These summer home kids are some tough kids!

The kids were impressed that you could see Wyoming to the west, the Badlands to the east, Nebraska to the south and Bear Butte to the north all from the fire tower! On the way down, we shared the trail with a mountain goat and some marmots.

The Summer Home is a great time for the Lakota students to get some adventure and travel in that they don’t get in the school year. We are thankful to all you donors who make these important times possible!

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 90 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.

2 thoughts on “A summer trip to the Black Hills”

  1. Awesome!!! I am so happy that you do trips like this with the kids for so many reasons, among them FUN and the fact that they come to realize just how strong they are and can be in the future, whatever it holds!!

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