Photos by Frank Griese, Visual Media Director
Children and adults take part in Wild Wolf Camp on July 15. The camp ran a week and was quickly followed by GONA and more outdoor activities.
About 30 campers, 15 camp counselors, employees, Councilmembers and the Tribe’s culture director welcomed summer the week of July 12 with Little Wild Wolves camp on the Tribe’s Kapowsin property.
Culture Director Connie McCloud opened the event with a prayer and words about the campers’ surroundings, who they are as Indigenous people and what it means to be in nature.
“It’s just a beautiful place to be,” said Youth Center Director Lisa Earl. “It gives you great energy.”
Earl said the children held lizards, watched deer and learned to be aware of their calm surroundings and the wildlife that lives there.
“What did you see, what did you hear, how did it make you feel?” she said.
The next week was GONA camp – Gathering of Native Americans. Earl said the camp counselors, most of them teenagers, took ownership of the planning and put their own touch on the camp to “make it shine.”
Basketball court energizes and archery are some of the activities on the menu. Youth counselors and supervisors also have cleared hiking trails so campers can explore the outdoors. The Culture Department offered drumming, singing, drum making classes, beading and more. Other camp activities: fishing, canoeing, paddle boats, board games, painting, badminton, volleyball, kickball … and still more.
“It’s awesome,” Earl said. “The kids are loving it. I can say that much.”
She said the counselors are getting a lot out of the experience as well.
“They are working together, building relationships … it’s been amazing to see them.”
–Puyallup Tribal News staff