Home    About Us    News/Events    Projects    Photos/Maps    Join/Give    Search    Contact Us

Honoring Our Resources Camp 2005

by Cheryl Williams

Youth at the 2005 Resource camp

The week of June 13th brought sun and an enthusiastic group of sixteen students to the third annual Honoring our Resources summer camp. The students, ranging in age from 4th grade to 12th grade, camped on the South Fork of the Little Wind River just above Washakie Reservoir. Organizers of the camp were Jason Baldes and Martin Blackburn, WRA Governing Council members, and founders of the Young Warriors Society, Teresa Cohn of Native Waters, and Deb Simon and Cheryl Williams, teachers, and Wind River Alliance Governing Council members. This year’s camp was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wyoming Indian Schools donated use of their vehicles The camp is designed to teach young people about the Wind River watershed, culture, tradition, and local natural resource issues. Cheryl Williams, a teacher at Wyoming Indian Elementary School, spent her third year at the camp. “It is a magical week, the kids laugh and learn together at a beautiful part of the Reservation.”

The week started with the students helping with the final set-up of three tipis and a wall tent used for cooking and supplies. An archery lesson was next, taught by Aaron Friday and Robbie Valdes. Next, Brad Meyer from Wyoming Game and Fish brought canoes and discussed the parts of a canoe, how to paddle depending on where you sit in the canoe, and, of course, safety. The kids had a great time canoeing around the reservoir. The first day of camp drew to a close with a drum group and traditional games. Tuesday morning we greeted the sun with prayer. After breakfast, the Wind River Environmental Quality Council (WREQC) gave a presentation about water quality and guided the students on a search for aquatic life. That afternoon, Mark Lambert, a local angler and builder of fly rods, gave a demonstration on casting. The students had time to practice their technique. After fishing came plants. Gloria Goggles talked to the kids about traditional use of native plants. She brought a collection of plants with her and taught the students how to identify the plants when they encounter them in the wild. The second day of camp ended with a drum group and dancing.

A full-day field trip was the highlight of Wednesday. Campers hiked six miles into the waterfalls of the South Fork of the Little Wind. On Thursday the group traveled to Diversion Dam. Jason Baldes led a discussion on the legal and political history of water rights on the Wind River and threats to the health of the watershed. The kids did a clean-up of the dam area and traveled on to Bull Lake for lunch, swimming, and hiking. Friday was spent cleaning up the camp area and then everyone went home to tell their friends and families about another fun filled, educational year of the Honoring Our Resources camp.

Email Jason Baldes for information about next year’s camp.