Thursday morning began bright and early as we left the motel at 6:30. We yawned a few yawns, stretched a few stretches, and drank our weight in coffee. Upon arriving at the Lakota Center we not only figuratively, but also literally stumbled on all the children sleeping everywhere because the storm did not allow them to camp in the tee pees. After breakfast and some last minute planning the camp activities began. The campers split into 2 groups as the younger kids went to Percy’s ranch for an afternoon of horseback riding while the older children traveled to the Porcupine gymnasium for some athletic activities. Both Nick and Deb proved to be a child at heart as they kept up with the youngsters during gym time. Over at the Ranch the smiles on the children’s faces as they rode a top of their steeds were brighter than Father Sun. Even Shelby, Diana, and Lisa hopped on a horse and got their cowgirl on! We traveled to and from the ranch in a mini van; although, I’m not sure why it is called a mini van when we managed to squeeze 10 children and 3 adults in on the ride back. We looked like a clown car as we piled out at the Lakota Center. After an energizing lunch, the children and staff engaged in water color painting with Elizabeth and therapy activities with Gene. The youngest campers had a blast and a half outside as they ran through a sprinkler and played water games. During some free time Shelby, Lisa, and Diana lead the children in a healing activity. The kids made a chain, that stretched around the room, out of construction paper. Each link has a child’s name written on it and a strength or positive characteristic of that child. The lesson behind the chain is that each person may be independent and strong, but together the people are united and unbreakable. A Lakota native lead the campers in meditation as he taught them to take care of themselves and spread good feelings to all. Dinner was LFC, not to be confused with KFC. Lakota fried chicken, with bread, corn, fruit, mashed potatoes and gravy. With full bellies, the children returned to their tee pees to prepare for Inipi. As Thursday drew to a close, Gene and the rest of the team ventured to Wounded Knee. The history that lies there is proof of the lives that are gone but not forgotten and the stories that live on in the hearts and memories of their loved ones. The history, culture, and people here are simply amazing and have touched each and every one of us on the Global Partners team.