An annual hike with the boys in the Cyr Home

Hi, my name is Odis. My houseparent partner Theresa and I work in the Cyr Home at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Odis, St. Joseph's Houseparent
Odis, St. Joseph’s Houseparent

We have 11 boys in grades 4-6 in the home, and I want to share with you how we keep the boys active in both body and mind.

One of our mottos at Cyr Home is “work hard, play hard.” On the work side of the equation, cold and snowy Friday afternoons are a great time to cut and sort Box Tops for Education and Campbell’s soup labels after school. We use labels and box tops to

Every year, houseparents Odis and Theresa take the Cyr Home boys to Farm Island for a hike.
The Cyr Home boys and houseparent Theresa on their 2015 Farm Island hike.

buy fun, extra things for the home, like i-Pads and other electronics, which are great to have around on long, cold winter days. The boys usually don’t get to play video games on school days, but on those days when the weather is too bad to go outside, we fire up the Xbox 360, and they use the Kinect to play games that are interactive such as dancing, bowling and baseball games.

A couple of weekends ago, we took a trip to Pierre to do our annual hike on Farm Island, which is around six-and-one-half miles round trip. We take a picture on the same log every year. As you can

Farm Island sits in the Missouri River near Pierre, South Dakota.
The Cyr Home boys on their 2014 Farm Island hike.

see, the log and the boys are getting older and older. I don’t know how many more years our picture log will last…

The island we hike on once had a Civilian Conservation Corps camp operating on it in the 1930’s and was the only one open in South Dakota for the full nine years of the program. Afterwards, it was home to a golf course and children’s camps, among other things. Needless to say, the overgrown island is now home to a lot of ruins and trails that the boys enjoy exploring.

The whole round trip got us very hungry, so we went to the Wonderful House of Jell-O a.k.a. The Chinese Buffet. We call it the Wonderful House of Jell-O because there are always a few boys who have never eaten at a Chinese restaurant and end up with nothing but Jell-O on their plates. The

Each year on their hike, the boys stop at the same tree for a picture.
The Cyr Home boys on their 2013 Farm Island hike.

joke in our home is that the buffet has the world’s best Jell-O because that is all some boys want to eat. The boys were more daring this year, however, and not one of them got Jell-O until they went for seconds.

We want all our readers and donors to know we appreciate your good thoughts and support. The boys at Cyr Home always have you on their minds and in our nightly prayers. Theresa and I thank you for your support of our work with the Cyr Home boys and St. Joseph’s.




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.

One thought on “An annual hike with the boys in the Cyr Home”

  1. Hi Odis.. Thank you for this very uplifting post! These young men are extremely lucky to have you and Theresa in their lives. God bless you all and the great work you are doing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *