Indian Education Summer Camp
July 2008
Powers, Oregon

      Powers Park hosted our camp again this year. Powers has a nice, open area with plenty of space for the campers to have their activities.

This year we had to rent a U-Haul to get all the equipment to camp. We really appreciate all of the great help in putting our set-up together. The youth and adult counselors worked all afternoon to put up eight canopies for the kids. Thank you! We had 47 campers, compared to 87 last year so we had a smaller group but still had a blast! Unfortunately the Florence schools were not able to send campers this summer but we are looking forward to seeing you all again next year.

Greg Booth volunteered at camp bringing several neat activities such as tipi set-up, fire building, tracking, atlatl and nature survival. The campers enjoyed this new facet of camp and hope he can join us again next year. We all enjoyed learning from him.

Doug Barrett from The Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Tribes also volunteered his time to show flint knapping to the campers. Even the parents got to try on Parent Day. Doug always shows the campers a good time and pitches in to help with other activities.

Kyle, Kent, Jhanna, Ed and Eden headed up our adult staff this year.

Jhanna was the craft lady and she brought back activities such as hair ties and dance sticks. These are the things I can remember doing when I was a camper. Jhanna also showed the campers how to use indigenous plants to make their own dream catchers. Each camper was able to make several other crafts to take home too.

Our drum instructor, Ed, taught the campers about respect and tradition during his sessions. The campers learned drumming, singing and dancing which they performed for their family on Pow-Wow day. The sessions with the drum were an important part of camp. During these times, the campers were able to see how important music is to celebrations and daily life. They also learned a variety of songs from various tribes and were able to distinguish between song and dance styles of many tribes. The campers enjoyed using the dance sticks they made.

The Lummi sticks were taught by Eden, another activity the campers really enjoy. We have been doing the Lummi sticks for several years and the kids never seem to get tired of it. Some campers can play the Lummi Stick game all the way through without a mistake or dropped stick.

Kyle headed up our games. We played the hoop game, football, frizbee and lots of other fun stuff. The campers especially enjoyed the Indian Olympics. They practiced every day and the finals were held on Pow Wow Day. Lots of requests to have the Olympics each year.

Kent has always been our all-around guy but this year he taught the kids lashing and knot tying. Each cabin made a carrier out of large logs lashed together with rope. Then they took turns carrying each other on the seat.

Nana, Heath and Tierra volunteered as well. Nana told stories and helped out with arts and crafts when she was needed. She also made sure all medications were passed out at the right time and fixed any cuts or scrapes. Heath and Tierra helped out everywhere and anywhere needed. Thanks for your hard work everyone!

Thank you also to the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Tribes for their donation of salmon for the Pow Wow feast on Saturday. We wouldn’t have had a traditional feast without it.

Former adult counselor, James Cederstrom cooked the salmon on stakes over a fire and everyone was able to watch the process. The campers were amazed that this way of cooking salmon still was being used and that the end result was so good.

Patti was our cook again this year and she did a great job of feeding us all. The campers especially enjoyed the seconds and thirds! With the help of family, friends and campers Patti put together a huge feast on Pow-Wow day for campers, parents and guests. Yum!

Doug was our only returning youth counselor this summer. Howie and Karrissa joined us as youth counselors after attending camp for 7 years. These three pretty much knew what to expect. Good job carrying on the traditions. This is what we hope for…. Campers who have been with us for many years who come back as youth counselors!!

New this year were Sean and Sam for the boys; Kalah, Jackie and Jennifer for the girls. These 5 new counselors really stepped it up! In fact all of my youth counselors made me very proud. They all seemed to work together well in groups and also as individual cabins. I am hoping to get the same crew back next year and have an even more successful camp.

And last, but not least . . . . our heartfelt gratitude to Jim Thornton who sees that this camp happens each year. !!!

Thanks again to everyone who helped make the Summer Camp Program a success. I wish everyone a safe and fun school year.

- Shannin Stutzman, Summer Camp Director 2008


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