Guest Blogger: Geri

Hello!  My name is Geri and I joined St. Joseph’s Indian School on August 20.  I’m delighted to be a ‘guest blogger’ and hope to share with you my ‘new to St. Joseph’s’ impressions!

What a warm, welcoming atmosphere!  I’ve had a variety of past work experiences, but none can compare to how welcome and comfortable I’ve been made to feel in the month since I’ve started.  I live in Mitchell and carpool with other St. Joseph’s employees Monday-Thursday and telecommute on Fridays.

Friends and family have asked me how the hour-long commute is going and I’ve honestly responded,

“It goes by remarkably fast, as we’re usually deep in conversation and surprised to see our exit sign.”

I’m amazed by how many people have worked at St. Joseph’s for 20, 25 or 30 years and very outwardly admit,

“I love working here – it’s a great place to work.”

I’ve had an opportunity to meet some of our Native American children and travel to the two reservations that 40% of our students come from, Lower Brule and Crow Creek.   The children are beautiful – and from the two times I’ve dined with them, amazingly polite and well-behaved.

The houseparents I met over dinner recently, Aleece and Leonard, are wonderfully kind and patient and have been at St. Joseph’s since 1988.  Their 1st-3rd grade boys were a joy to be around –proudly showing their regalia for the powwow and honestly remarking on my height (I’m north of 5’10”).

You may be wondering what my job at St. Joseph’s entails – let me tell you about that.  My title is Director of Major Gift Services and currently I’m working to gain an understanding of all that is happening in our development program while working towards the development of a major gifts program.

I have so much to learn, but it’s exciting!  I am looking forward to getting to know our supporters better and finding out what specifically they are passionate about and why they support St. Joseph’s, while at the same time learning all that I can about St. Joseph’s.

Feel free to share your thoughts with me!  My e-mail address is

This week at St. Joseph’s day camp …

As of today, over 400 Native American children have attended St. Joseph’s Rising Eagle Day Camp!

It’s been a great week to spend with kids from the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation.

Monday was sunny and hot day, which was great for playing outside! We picked up some toys from Central Receiving, including toy trucks and cars for the sand box, walking stilts and pogo sticks. We also found an assortment of different balls and camp staff taught the kids to play 4-square and hopscotch.

Two Native American boys learning about a boat!
Day Camp is going great!

Tuesday we had the Water Safety Course as our morning activity. The children really enjoyed riding around on the water and steering the small boats. Many thanks to our local Game, Fish & Parks office and the Army Corps of Engineers for their presentation.

Wednesday, there were 47 children waiting for the camp bus, plus five dogs and some puppies. They even tried to get on the bus!

Back at St. Joseph’s, we had one little girl who was upset and wouldn’t tell us what was wrong. Thanks to some TLC from Mary Jane, she was soon eating lunch and joined her group outside at the playground. Thanks Mary Jane!

Each child received a toothbrush and toothpaste as they get off the bus to go home today.

Thursday was another beautiful, hot day! We had lots of fun with our usual activities – playing outside games, swimming and crafts. Everything went great.

Next week, we’ll head to the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation to pick up day campers!