The Return of Rising Eagle Day Camp was Amazing!

Rising Eagle Day Camp was back for Summer 2022 and oh, what a blessing it was!

The highly anticipated return of Rising Eagle Day Camp felt like a trip back in time to 2019 when things seemed so much simpler — like a breath of fresh air, as they say.

The first two weeks of camp served 372 children, ages six to 14 from the Crow Creek Reservation. The second two weeks of camp served 358 children from the Lower Brule Reservation. Calculate those together, and the total attendance this year was 730 children. If we do more math, that includes over 3,100 miles traveled and over 2,100 meals and snacks provided to reservation children in four weeks.

What did children do while they were here? A lot of cool stuff!

A lot of concentration went into creating fun arts and crafts children took home with them at the end of each day.

Each day began with the Lakota Flag Song and other traditional Native American songs performed. Each child then rotated through classes where they had Lakota language lessons, made arts and crafts, listened to traditional stories and discussed their meanings.

“I taught Lakota culture at summer camp. I loved watching the children from Ft. Thompson and Lower Brule embrace their culture and language,” said Nancy, a camp teacher. “Teaching at summer camp is my favorite thing to do. The little ones especially liked singing around the drum. It makes my heart full when I see them in the community and they tell their parents, ‘That’s my Lakota teacher!’”

Nancy smiles as she shares a Lakota story with the group of children attending camp.

Of course, there was ample time for movement outside of the classroom activities. All students had plenty of time to swim in the Rec Center pool, play sports in the gym, learn new group games outdoors or play on our beloved playground.

Swimming in the pool is always a favorite activity during camp.

“Swimming is the best part of camp. I wanted to swim all day!” said Jordana, a child attending camp.

“I love the playground here,” said Travis. “There are a lots of friends my age here, and I like when we get to play games, like basketball.”

Children were provided breakfast, lunch and a snack each day before heading home.

All in all, it was a wonderful welcome back of Rising Eagle Day Camp. Being blessed to host a camp completely free-of-charge to children is very gratifying and humbling. Everyone is thankful!

“The kids were outstanding and had a great time, staff were engaged and great relationships were made,” said Mark, camp director. “We appreciate all of the support we receive for summer camp and can’t wait for next year!”

Read more about Rising Eagle Day Camp and St. Joseph’s list of other outreach programs at www.stjo.org.

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 “The Return of Rising Eagle Day Camp was Amazing!”

  1. Glad to see that the children are learning their own language. I think it is important that they have this. Pool looks great. Kids look like they are having a lot of fun. I have a couple of large TV sets that I will be getting rid of. There is nothing wrong with them. I am getting rid of them because I bought a couple of smart TV sets that I have set up on YouTube. If you are interested, just pay for the shipping and you can have them. One is about 54” long and the other about 48” long. Just thought I would check with you before I give them away.

    1. Thank you for the kind comment and offer of the TVs. We will pass this along to our Donation Processing department. Our needs fluctuate, but they will be able to determine if we could use this gift at this time. We appreciate your offer and generosity!

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