This year’s healing camp team has nine members this year. Nick Breining, Deb Murray, Angela Mensink, Deb Stelmach, Tara Allert, Acieona Kovatch, Erica Kelly, Claire Vons’s and myself. Nick, Deb, Deb and myself are returning members, so that tells you a little about how meaningful the whole Healing Camp experience is. The drive out is quite a bit longer, because camp is again being held in the Black Hills. This is the second year that it is being held in the Black Hills. This is very significant because the Black Hills are the spiritual homeland to the Lakota people. Ethleen Iron Cloud Two Dogs has always wanted to have at least part of the camp in the Black Hills, so to have the entire camp there is a dream come true.
We left very early this morning. I had suggested meeting in Onalaska at 5:30, to try to leave at 5:45. My hope was that early departure would give us enough time to stop in Chamberlain, S.D. to visit the Alta Lakota Cultural Museum. There were some grumbling about the early start,but that vanished after we were able to tour the museum. It is a wonderful introduction to the history and culture of the Lakota People.
Thirty two children have registered for this year’s camp, which is a lot, but with this group of volunteers we will be ready. We have assumed a mascot for the Healing Camp trips. Our mascot is Gumby from the old Gumby and Pokey cartoons. The reason we are Gumbies is that we have learned that we have to be flexible because things rarely seem to go as planned. We have to be ready for last minute changes and unexpected occurrences. Thank goodness there are nine of us Gumbies this year!
Keep reading as the week progresses. You will be hearing some amazing stories.