Today was our travel day to our week on Pine Ridge. Our group consists of myself, Josh Hardy, Tim Kolaczkowski(got to be related to me with a name like that…he’s my nephew), Mary Sprosty, and Laura Gundersen(she says no relation to anyone at Gundersen. We are here to help with a Healing Camp for Children on the Pine Ridge reservation. The children who will be attending the five day camp will be children, ages 7-12 years who have experienced some type of loss, trauma or hurt. The camp will be a wonderful combination of traditional Lakota Healing activities, some contemporary healing activities and lots of just plain fun. Our group will be responsible for the contemporary healing activities and a lot of the fun. Our focus will be on welcoming the campers and their parent or guardian and getting to know them. We have activities focusing of feelings identification and sharing, especially feelings connected to their loss or hurt. We will also help them identify source of support and things that can help deal with their emotions. We also have some activities to help the children learn to relax and let go of stress. These are all done in a fun way, but at the same time teaching a meaningful skill.
I am so proud to be a part of this group of volunteers. They all have a special place in their hearts to make a difference in the life of a child.
The weather has been wonderful so far. We ran into some rain on the drive out, but we always seemed to be a little bit ahead of the the really bad looking stuff. Most of the time the dark clouds were in our rear view mirror. The plains of the reservation are beautiful. There was a gentle breeze blowing and it made the grasses of the plains look like waves on the sea. When we arrived in Kyle, at the Lakota Prairie Ranch Resort the sky was blue and the temperature was in the upper 60’s. After eating dinner and checking into our rooms we walked up to the Oglala Lakota College. We visited the Lakota military service members memorial and the ceremonial arbor on the college campus. It was very peaceful end to our day.
Tomorrow we have a morning of some planning for camp and then the campers start to arrive in the afternoon!