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A ‘huge success’

I am very glad to announce that the 2009 Northern Plains Youth Group Parent and Child Camp was a huge success. The camp was held June 12 – 14 at Trenton Lake, N.D. I see this annual event getting bigger and better each year and am already coming up with ideas for 2010.

An estimated 800 people came and enjoyed the different events over the three days. Quite a few people camped out this year, roughing it in their 25-foot, fifth wheel campers. Some of the events the kids participated in were kite flying, three-legged races, a fishing contest, swimming, gunny sack races, watermelon roll, bingo, a hula hoop contest, karaoke singing and more.

All meals were provided and prepared by volunteers, with the use of Blue Eagle Concession. The Yellow Bird Singers provided some singing and explanation of the songs. Ms. Morgan Johnson, Williston Basin Indian Club Jr. Princess, gave a demonstration of Jingle Dress dancing and then did the Red River Jig to the crowd’s pleasure.

Mr. Richard Falcon also set up his public address system for a small but enjoyable jam session. We had a young lady come out and teach swimming safety. We also had young people feed our elders, bringing them food to where they were sitting instead of having the elders stand in line. We were visited by a group of young people and their elders from Mandaree, N.D. who were putting on a language camp at Ft. Union.

This whole event is targeted towards the children of the Trenton Indian Services Area to show them we can have fun without the use of alcohol or other mind-altering chemicals. It is also a chance for them to communicate with their parents, elders and peers. They are taught about respect, honesty, integrity, patience, sanitation, sharing, and more. I received many compliments on the camp, how it was run, and what we do for the kids.

There are a lot of people that came forward to help as it cannot be done by only one person. We received donations from different individuals and businesses from the Williston and Trenton area.

On behalf of the Northern Plains Youth Group, the Native American Resource Center and TISA, I want to say thank you to all the volunteers, the TISA maintenance crew, and Mr. Loren Yellow Bird for helping with the tipis. Thanks to all the parents, and to all the kids, see you next year.

– Joe McGillis

Native American Resource

Center director

Trenton, N.D.