Hello from St. Joseph’s Summer Home!

My name is Odis and I’m a houseparent. During the school year, I work with fourth and fifth grade boys. For the summer, I’m working with the Lakota (Sioux) students in

Odis, a houseparent, accompanied students in the summer home on a trip to the Black Hills and Harney Peak.
Louie, Odis and Nick “in the clouds” at the top of Harney Peak!

grades 2-8.

I wanted to let you know about some of the exciting things going on here in the Summer Home!

The students recently had a three-day weekend from summer school (they spend each morning during the week in class), so we used the opportunity to go to South Dakota’s beautiful Black Hills!

All twelve kids and three adults packed up and headed out to a weekend full of camping, hiking and other fun activities. The highlight of the weekend was the six (or seven!) mile hike up to Harney Peak in Custer State Park.

The map said six miles round trip, but our feet told us it was seven miles! Harney Peak is the highest natural point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.   On the way up, the kids learned about the Pine Beetle that is killing the pine trees and leaving the forest vulnerable to fire.

We also learned about Valentine McGillycuddy, whose ashes are interred at the top of the peak.

McGillycuddy was known to be a friend of Crazy Horse. He was also the physician who attended Crazy Horse shortly before he died of a bayonet wound in Fort Robinson.

St. Joseph’s summer home students and staff spent a fun weekend camping and hiking in South Dakota’s Black Hills.
Ready to make the hike!

All the kids made the hike without complaint and enjoyed being “in the clouds” when we got to the top. Our adventure concluded with a picnic at Sylvan Lake when we got back to the bottom.

The students and houseparents at St. Joseph’s Indian School are grateful for your support! We appreciate your sacrifices for us and good feelings toward us. Our work would not be possible without you.

God bless!

Odis, Houseparent

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.

6 thoughts on “Hello from St. Joseph’s Summer Home!”

  1. Hi Odis… sounds like a real adventure.. The “kids” are very fortunate to have you and the other adults. Enjoy the rest of the summer .. God Bless you all!

  2. WHAT AN AMAZING ADVENTURE AND SO MUCH HISTORY TOO. The walk in the clouds must have been terrific for everyone to experience. I love reading the posts, it makes me feel a part of a wonderful family! Thanks for sharing wonderful stories and great pictures too! Blessing to all, Barbara

  3. Excellent job to you and the kiddos!!! I wish I had taken the hike with you all. Absolutely beautiful Mother Nature in all her glory.

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