What’s a kid to do with cabin fever?

What’s a kid to do?  It’s so cold outside that you can’t stay out very long.  Cabin fever is starting to set in.  The TV is getting boring.  “I know!  Let’s go to the Rec!”

When the Lakota students come to play in the gym, they need to leave their heavy coats in the Rec center hallway.
Here’s what it looks like on a cold winter day when our Lakota students need to leave their outerwear in the hallway before entering the gym!

The Recreation Center at St. Joseph’s is the place to be in any season, but especially during these short winter days in the cold of South Dakota.  The gymnasium and the pool are the most popular destinations, but the Recreation Center offers a whole lot more. In fact, when I started working there this fall, I was amazed at the variety of things to do and services they offer our Lakota (Sioux) students!

Hello, my name is Anita and this is my sixth year at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  For the first five years, prior to my “second retirement” last June, I worked as a houseparent at the Sheehy Home for high school boys.  Before that, my husband and I raised three sons while he worked as a teacher and I as a social worker.  Even though we’d been in our professions for 30 years, we weren’t ready for the rocking chairs!  That’s when we discovered St. Joseph’s and their mission.

But, back to the Rec Center…starting with the gymnasium.  Besides being available for individuals to come down and shoot some hoops, the gym is used on a regular basis for activities for the Lakota children:

  • Boys’ and girls’ basketball leagues, for grades 4-8. Each team is complete with two coaches, uniforms, and a schedule to play schools from nearby communities.  This fosters team play, cooperation, and good sportsmanship.  In addition, the connection to the local communities is very important to fulfilling our mission for the Native American children we serve. We want people to come here to see what we’re about and for our students to interact with other children from other areas.  The girls’ teams finished their season in December and the boys teams are just getting started. In conjunction with boys’ basketball season, some of the girls are now involved in cheerleading.

    The Lakota children have Enrichment each Wednesday night.
    Enrichment night is fun and games for everyone!
  • Wednesday Night Enrichment Activities for everyone in grades 1-8. The groups are lead in an activity appropriate for their age by two of the Rec Center’s staff members, usually Mark and Andy.  Houseparents are on hand to help out if needed.  Our Rec Center staff focuses Enrichment on activities that EVERYONE can participate in (not everyone is a volleyball or basketball player) in order to promote physical and developmental skills, cooperation, exercise and grow a strong body, and to simply have FUN!

We also have a Concession Stand that is open during certain events, like basketball and volleyball games. St. Joseph’s high school students often volunteer to help Rec staff operate the stand during those events.

When the gymnasium is not being used for programmed activities it is available for any of St. Joseph’s homes to use. It is also used for other St. Joseph’s student events such as school dances, Halloween and Valentine parties, sobriety celebrations and powwow.  Plus St. Joseph’s staff utilizes the space often for staff training or gatherings.  There have also been numerous occasions where the local community reserves the gym for an activity, plus the Chamberlain High School athletic uses it for practice when there is a conflict in their facilities.

The Rec center operates a concession stand during games with the help of St. Joseph’s high school students.
Everyone loves the concession stand!

That’s only the gymnasium usage in our Recreation Center!  In upcoming weeks I’ll be updating you on all the other things that we having going on here—stay tuned!

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.

9 thoughts on “What’s a kid to do with cabin fever?”

  1. There is more to life than the gym and sports. Try teaching them to build a clean website. Teach them to make jewelry and other crafts to sell on their site. Mine is a bit amateurism, but, at least, I build one: http://www.purchase-at.com. I am sure they can upstage mine- and, I wish them the best.

    1. Thank you Mary!
      Our mission is to educate the Lakota children in our care for life – mind, body, heart and spirit. Our programs encompass all these aspects. You are right – there’s more to life that the gym and sports. God bless!

  2. Kids need playtime. Anyone for a snowball fight in the gym? (with those spongy balls) One thing, though (from a ret. safety officer) be careful of what is left in the hall. In an emergency evacuation all those clothes become a serious problem.

  3. Thank you for providing so much good joyful activities for the children we love and support! Northcutts from Desoto MO

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