by Shannin Williams, Camp Director

This was my first year as camp director. But as a previous camper, youth counselor and adult counselor last year, I felt that I was experienced enough for the director’s position. I received lots of encouragement from Jim Thornton and retired camp director, Esther Stutzman.

The 2003 Indian Education Summer Camp held in Powers, was a blast for all. Gilbert Towner, a local elder, re-named our camp Lin-a-te-natsun, which means “The place over the mountain” (from Agness) in Tu-tu-dine language of the Rogue River people.

Eden was our arts & crafts director this year. The kids made cornhusk dolls, dream catchers, drum sticks and various native jewelry. James, another adult counselor, also taught the middle school camp. James also did all of the nature hikes, plant identification and traditional/medicinal ways to use them.

We did a lot of drumming and dancing thanks to the main drum teacher Jon, along with the help of all of the other adult counselors. Jon has been drumming and dancing for a long time now, even participating in dancing and drumming contests. During one of our drum sessions we played a pow-wow CD so the campers could hear what a real “Group” sounds like. During this time we all separated into dance categories and worked hard on footwork and dance etiquette.

Dallas was our over all adult counselor! Anything that needed to be done or fixed he was there, tools in hand. There is no way this year’s camp would have made it without him!

Susan, who works with Nearby Nature in Eugene, was a volunteer and helped a lot wherever needed. She even took over story telling when Esther was not available.

The weather was great and not as hot as last year. The local bus driver Peggy volunteered her time in transporting our campers to and from camp. She also did a special trip so we could go swimming. Thanks again to her and Powers!

Again this year we did the hoop game and added some old and new other activities the campers really seemed to enjoy. The bubble gum race was probably the favorite of everyone.

The youth counselors were outstanding this year! My eight counselors were very respectful, ready to learn and accomplished a lot of things, even putting up a tipi for the first time. The youth counselors returning this year were Kent “Duct Tape Man”, Richard, Sarina, Joh and Shana. These experienced counselors were once again wonderful. The new counselors were not strangers to our camp. Tiera, Wren and Derrek were campers in the past!
How can we forget our wonderful cooks, again this year? We had Judy and Mary to thank for our yummy, nutritious food. Brandon, Judy’s son, helped out a lot in the prep of our food.

I would also like to thank Jim Thornton for all of his hard work, everything from paperwork to delivering food. You are the best!

This year we had a resident “Elder” at camp, our previous director, Esther Stutzman, who held the camp down for us.

Special thanks to Foggy Creek Council members, Nancy, Mack and family for all of their time and effort put towards this year’s camp. They were the ones who helped us out last year and they certainly made this camp a success by bringing wood, loaning a dining canopy and just being there when we needed them.

I hope that we will be able to do a High School camp next year as well as the 4-6 and 7-8 groups. I would suggest for next year that the 4-6 and 7-8 grades be combined into one camp as they were last year. Last year it wasn’t a problem and was more cost-effective than having two separate camps. We are already waiting for next year, hoping it goes as well as the last two have. I really think everyone learned good values and respect for themselves as Indian People.

I am sorry to say that one of our youth counselor’s father passed away shortly after camp ended. Pat Duffy (who passed) and family did a lot to help us with our first camp. This year they were again very helpful and generous to our camp. Pat and Family will be in our prayers.


Jim Thornton, Indian Education Coordinator, Coos County Indian Education Coordination Program,
90633 Cape Arago Highway, Coos Bay OR 97420-7635