Indian Education Summer Camp
July 2007
Powers, Oregon

      What a great time we had this year! The rain we had didn’t seem to dampen the fun, maybe just some sleeping bags. The weather did clear up enough for us to have some days to play in the water and go down to the park. The Indian Olympics were very popular again this year and the top three participants went home with ribbons! We also had a competition for the Lummi Stick game; two girls took home the blue ribbon. The Villages that the groups made turned out absolutely wonderful! Each group had time scheduled to work on their miniature villages. They all added a lot of detail and individual creativity to their project. Skit night was very fun and entertaining too. I also was able to put together a dance night. I think the adults looked smashing in their dance attire, all thanks to Kent and his endless trunk of disguises. Pow-wow day was a great turnout with lots of family, fun and great food. Many thanks to The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower, Umpqua and Siuslaw for the donation of three salmon which we cooked over a fire pit the traditional way. Patti Torres was our new cook this year with some help from her daughter Lupe (who is a former youth counselor!). We all enjoyed the great food that was prepared for us; many kids had seconds and thirds. Thanks for all your hard work, ladies!

      The staff this year was a mix of old and new people. Patti Torres, as I mentioned, was our new cook and she did a good job feeding all 100+ people at camp. Kyle St. Clair worked as our sports and game coordinator and we all had lots of fun participating in game time. Esther Stutzman, aka Nana, was our craft lady. The campers were able to make some really neat crafts to give away or take home. We had Jhanna Fry as a guest craft lady come for a couple days and volunteer her time. Thanks Jhanna! Our fearless drum instructor was Jon Warren who has worked with this camp several years in the past. Jon taught not only drumming, singing and dancing, but also the respect, traditions and expectations of the circle. Eden Ferrell was our dedicated medic, she fixed everything from scrapes to sunburns, and I think she even pulled a sliver from my hand. Kent Bushnell has always been our all around entertainer, floater, and mastermind for creativity. If something needs to be done, Kent’s on it! We had several volunteers too, Doug Barrett from the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Tribes taught the campers how to make tule ducks and do flint knapping. Heath Bell also volunteered his time this year. Heath helped with the games and was a great asset to our camp.

      Our youth counselors worked hard all week to care for our campers. Returning counselors were Tellisa Vroman, Apollo Ruiz, Matt Swearingen and Doug West. All of these veterans did a great job. Mac Gilpin, Amanda Sulua, Mariah Wilson and Holly Piper were our rookies this year. These counselors caught on quickly and did exceptional with their campers. It is always good to see new people come in and pick things up so quickly. Thanks for all your hard work youth counselors. 

      All of the staff and campers seem eager and interested to see what’s going on for next year. All I can say is that we will always respect the traditions and try to bring in some new fun, games and activities. Also, next year I am working on a separate camp for the high school students that will target more on respect, responsibilities and life skills. Drumming, singing & dancing will be a big part of these groups’ actives. 

Over all I would like to congratulate and say thank you to everyone who contributed to our camp this year. We worked very hard to provide a camp on very limited funds. Thanks, Jim for all the coordination work.

Looking forward to 2008.

Shannin Stutzman
2007 Summer Camp Director


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