July 9-13, 2018 – Camp dates
July 7-15, 2018 – Volunteer dates including travel
About the Camp
The Ihanktonwan Learning Camp was initiated in 2010 as a partnership between the First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland and the Cedar Church, a Native American Presbyterian Church located near the Fort Randall Dam in southeastern South Dakota. It is held at Marty Indian School in Marty, South Dakota.
The mission is to provide basic educational opportunities for one week, in the middle of the summer, as a way to encourage the students to return to school in the fall with a renewed interest in learning and continuing their studies. We try to give the children a sense of encouragement, love and affirmation as we also receive these in return. We come not just to teach but to learn about a culture and lifestyle different from our own.
We serve children in and around Marty, South Dakota with most of the students typically coming from the rural towns of Marty, Greenwood, Lake Andes and Wagner. Camp dates for volunteers including travel days are listed in the calendar below.
There will be at least two volunteers teaching each class. The children remain with their teachers throughout the day from 8 AM to 2 PM Monday through Friday for 1 week. Classes range from Pre-K through 8th grade and children are assigned to the class level that they just completed. Instruction is provided in several areas including math and reading in a FUN setting. LEGO Robotics, Art and Science are “resource activities” available as well.
Every effort is made to keep the children (and staff) active and engaged. Children take free books home from the camp.
There are several opportunities to get to know our Dakota Presbytery and Marty community partners during the week. We start by worshipping and sharing fellowship at the historic Cedar Church on the first Sunday we are there.
Members of the community are invited to join us for evening meals and to help with the children during the week. We typically have a special dinner in which several community members are invited to speak to camp staff. In addition, we offer an evening of Spiritual Learning/Sharing among camp staff and members of the Ihanktonwan community.
Camp staff must have finished 8th grade by the end of the school year. Special exceptions MAY be made for younger volunteers accompanied by a close relative. We are seeking 24 volunteers for the ILC camp: high school and college students, and adults of all ages. Some background with children is helpful as camp staff members need to be comfortable around children and interested in forming relationships with the children and their families. The participation fee can be lessened though participation in fundraising opportunities. There is a fundraising Auction in May. Presbyterian youth have access to additional monies through the Turner Youth Scholarship. Interviews will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland, located at 11 Washington Street on the date listed below. Other interview times can be arranged by appointment.
Staff members will be given pre-camp training so that each staff member feels prepared to be a part of the camp. Training will include cultural diversity, reporting suspected child abuse, and relationship building. For training dates, see below.
Accommodations and Transportation
Volunteers will stay at the comfortable tribal owned Fort Randall Hotel/Casino in southeast South Dakota or in the student dorm at Marty, where the Learning Camp takes place. Most meals are provided during the week. Volunteers should bring spending money for food and souvenirs on travel days.
Opportunities for Learning, Travel, and Fun
Various field trip opportunities are available for volunteers. We attend at least one local powwow during the week. One day (the Saturday at the end of the week) is devoted to a field trip of some kind or exploration of the local area. We learn about the rich history and culture of the Ihanktonwan (Yankton Sioux) tribe. Some may choose to go to the Badlands or the Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments. Volunteers can choose how they want to spend their last day before leaving South Dakota.
All are invited!!
Calendar of Events
- Sunday March 4th and 18th 12:15 PM: Informational Meetings at FPC Cumberland at 11 Washington Street. All are invited!!
- Tuesday April 3: Applications and $200 deposits due
- Saturday April 7: Interviews from 1-4PM at FPC Cumberland
- Sunday April 29: Fundraising Auction at FPC Cumberland, 12:30 to 2:30
- May 1, 2018: Final Payment due
- Saturday May 19: First training 9:00-4:00 at FPC Cumberland
- Saturday June 3: Second Training at FPC Cumberland, 1:00 to 5:00 PM
- Saturday July 7: Southwest Airlines, DC to Omaha at 3:50 PM arriving 5:50 PM
- July 9-13: Ninth Annual Ihanktonwan Learning Camp
- Saturday July 14: Field trip day
- Sunday July 15: Southwest Airlines, Omaha to DC Nonstop 12:35 PM to 4:00 PM