2004 Indian Education Summer Camp
Director’s Report by Shannin Williams
Welcome North Bend! The North Bend Indian Education Program joined our
camp this year adding to our number of campers and overall good time.
Thank you for the food, paper products, and educational materials and
This year was my second time as Camp Director. What a great time we had
this year! Our camp was again held in Powers at Lin-a-te-natsun. The weather
was a little on the warm side so we drank gallons of water and used a
lot of sun block. We did have rain showers a couple nights but we all
survived the slight dampness.
Our arts & crafts instructor was Eden who has been with our camp
for several years. The campers were able to make chokers, pouches, dream
catchers and bead necklaces. James stepped in and showed the campers how
to make jewelry out of hemp string. We also allowed the campers to string
beads, shells and bone when they were finished with their projects. A
lot of beautiful things were made this year!
Nature was a big part of camp this year. Esther (retired director) talked
to the kids about recognizing plants and how they were used by Native
people. Several native languages and scientific names were accompanied
with the plants general name. James and Kent took the campers on hikes
and walks after they had a session with Esther. Campers were able to look
for the plants, flowers and berries along their walks, seeing them in
their natural habitat. During the scavenger hunt the groups were asked
a couple of questions about the names of introduced plants.
The Adult counselors took turns teaching the Lummi Stick Game which comes
from the Lummi Nation in Washington State. Partners sit across from each
other holding a stick in each hand as they sing and do a routine with
the sticks. When a big group did this together the sound was amazing!
Each cabin made a miniature village using only things from nature. They
were given only instructions, raffia and two mini baskets made from willow
to complete their villages. Many of the villages had sleeping structures,
fire pits, pathways and wood piles.
I was very impressed with the detail and hard work that went into building
The most amazing activity was the drumming and dancing! WOW! I was blown
away by the campers and the counselor’s eagerness to learn more.
At the High School camp we were drumming and dancing like we did it together
all the time. Each HS camper did a lead for a song on their own!! What
a great group of future Youth Counselors they were. Our second week of
camp for the 4th – 8th graders was also very impressive. The drumming
sessions went along very well because everyone wanted to drum and dance.
We even had kids asking to drum during their free time! I think that letting
the campers and Youth Counselors drum on their own time at their own pace
helped them to feel more comfortable in the drum circle. By the end of
the week we could have had our own drum and dance team. It makes me feel
very good in my heart to know that these kids learned their traditions
and want to continue.
Our games were held in the evening because of the hot weather. Again we
did the hoop game, kick the stick and other games suggested by campers
and counselors. The Indian Olympic Games were very challenging but fun
for the entire camp. The campers learned more than five events to practice
and participate in. The best thing about these events was that age, sex,
strength, height and weight did not matter. On Pow-Wow day we had all
the campers and counselors competing for the parents and guests.
Our Pow-Wow day was very hot but well worth it. The Coos, Lower Umpqua
& Siuslaw Indian Tribes donated three huge salmon for our feast. Thanks
again! While the Adults were preparing the fish the rest of the camp decided
to drum, which was wonderful! Our feast was as always very good thanks
to the cooks and everyone who volunteered to help out. The campers really
showed off their stuff at the Pow-Wow! Several campers came a long way
with their dancing and I am very proud of them for trying. I think our
Pow-Wow day impressed the parents and guests; I got many positive comments
Our camp “Medic”, Jeanne, was pretty busy this year. We had
a lot of small scrapes and cuts to clean and bandage, sun burns to treat
and meds to pass. There were no serious injuries but a large percentage
of her patients were youth counselors!
Judy and Mary were back again as our Cooks. We had wonderful meals during
these two weeks. Yum! Somehow these ladies cooked food for up to 68 people
per meal with only a propane stove, small microwave and toaster oven.
Thank you so much, cooks, for all of your hard work and good food.
I had a very outgoing and respectful staff this year. My youth counselors
were Ann, Amber, Tierra, Tara, Wren, Two Crows, JD and Jordan. All eight
of the counselors seemed to work together well and did their jobs 100%.
I was very impressed with the way the counselors connected with their
campers and got everyone into the swing of things. The adult staff did
an outstanding job! Eden, James, Kent and Jeanne all have had prior camp
experience. Kent was a youth counselor for two years and survived his
rookie year as an adult this year - great job!
Thank you to Jim Thornton for all of his pencil pushing and hard work
to make this camp work again this year. I would also like to thank all
of the Indian Education Coordinators for their effort in recruiting counselors
and campers. We made cards and had everyone sign them for several other
people and businesses that contributed to the success of our 2004 summer
I am looking forward to next year, if you can believe that. I have received
a lot of feedback from the camper and counselor evaluations. Every suggestion,
idea and comment will be considered when planning for next year; after
all, they are the ones who experienced it all. I am very open to any other
comments and or suggestions from anyone that was involved in our camp.
Thanks to everyone for an outstanding camp, it is a great gift to see
the campers learn and grow through the years. I hope everyone has a great
school year and continues to remember what they learned at camp.