For my Ogallala Commons internship volunteering experience, I had the opportunity to work with the Sicangu youth program a couple of times through two different events here on the Rosebud Reservation. The first event that I volunteered for was a running camp that the program held for the youth, grades K-12. I helped in supervising with the running coaches. I also made sure everyone was registerest, offered water, and fruits to the runners. It was a pretty cool seeing the youth enjoy the running camp and listen to the guest speaker, Robert Iron Shell, who is a student- athlete at Briar Cliff University. He talked to youth about how it is very important to take care of our bodies and gave advice on how to do so. That advice being: learning how to stretch, warm-up properly before a workout, and showing helpful running/workout techniques. It was beautiful sunny morning spent with the youth.
My other volunteering experience was being able to chaperone for a youth trip, where we hiked both Bear Butte and Black Elk’s peak. It was amazing being able to hike both sacred Indigenous sites with the youth. I believe it was a great opportunity to give them a sense of their culture and educate them more about these sacred sites. Although in the past I had the opportunity to hike at both sites, I’ve never really hiked both sites all in the same day. I always forget how beautiful and spiritual it is hiking these sacred indigenous sites and its definitely a beautiful feeling you’ll never forget. The reason why I chose to work and volunteer with the Sicangu youth program this summer was to be able to just work with the youth. I wanted to spread the knowledge of their culture, be a role model, and inspiration to them. It was an amazing experience and hope to work more with the youth in the future. Children are our leaders of tomorrow.