P.G. YMCA Indian Guides and Princesses
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Summer Edition 2002 Patuxent Nation
Wow, what a wonderful last few weeks we had!!! First of all Iíd like to thank each and every one of you. You have made this the most enjoyable year for me. I hope each of you also had a great Indian year! I know everyone is excited about being off from school for the summer. I canít wait to hear what each of you have been doing over the summer. I am so excited about Indians next year. Iíve got a lot of exciting things for us to do!
May and June went by so fast. In mid-May, we went to the Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area. What a blast! The whole nation and their families enjoyed a beautiful day and saw many different animals. For those who couldnít make it, the area is known for Bald Eagles. We saw quite a few Bald Eagles as well as Turkey Vultures. Norm (Bald Eagle) has visited Wye Island many times and told everyone how you can tell the difference between them. When flying, Bald Eagles wings are very flat, while Turkey Vultures wings are more in the shape of a shallow V. Bald Eagles fly much more smoothly than Turkey Vultures. Christy (Shooting Star) found a small terrapin at the beach area. We also got to see many rabbits near the edges of the fields. As we were driving, we saw a large snapping turtle in the field. We all got out for a closer look, but didnít want to get to close. As we were leaving Wye Island, a Fox came out to say goodbye to us.
On June 2nd, my family and I went to the 20th Annual Piscataway Indian Festival. We had a great time. Many people came out to the festival. The best part of the festival was watching many of the ceremonial dances. They showed us dances from various tribes. One of the most popular dances was the ďChicken DanceĒ that started in some tribes from the Carolinaís and have spread to tribes in the Northeast.
At one point, the dancers came out into the crowd and selected people to come into the dance circle to show everyone what they learned about Indian dancing. Luckily, my family nor I was selected.
There was also a flute presentation and many different ceremonial songs to listen to. Many vendors came out to sell items such as clothing, medicinal herbs, and jewelry. There was both a longhouse and a teepee.
Iíve come across several Indian Festivals that are scheduled next fall. I canít wait to have everyone attend and share the experience of the Indian culture.
On June 9th we had the end of the year Chiefís Picnic at Leakin Park in Baltimore. It was a beautiful day. We had a good turnout of families. While we picnicíd and played games, the miniature trains rolled past us. Afterwards, we all headed down to the train station. All of the Indians eyed the ice cream truck as we walked over. There were 2 types of trains running that day, coal and electric. The trains are miniature scale versions of real trains. We all boarded a train and went around. Itís an amazing feel, riding on one of these trains. It makes you want to ride a large train that rides through the mountains. After several train rides, we headed over to the ice cream truck for desert. What a wonderful day it was!
Finally the big day was here, Camp Letts. Everyone met up Friday evening at Mariner III. We had 8 Indians and 7 parents. We had some rain on Friday night, so we stayed in our cabin playing Bingo, flashlight tag and telling ghost stories. The boys even were able to get an early start and found a turtle. We all went over what the plans were for the weekend. Everyone seemed to get excited about the scavenger hunt and finding turtles for the races. Everyone agreed that the Indians would split into twoís for the scavenger hunt. Finally everyone settled down.
Saturday morning came very early. A light sprinkle came. I went down to the boat house to find the counselors waiting for us. They had been there waiting for us since 6:00am. The rain kept up so we decided to postpone the canoeing. As I was walking back to the cabin, I met up with all of our Indians in rain gear. I think everyone was happy that we werenít going to go out canoeing in the rain.
After breakfast, the boys had soccer games back home to go to. They were gone for the day. The rest of us got started out by going up to the stables. Unfortunately the trails were closed due to the rain and mud. However we were able to learn about the horses and grooming them. I never knew there were so many different types of brushes. I was impressed with how natural everyone was around the horses. There were even a few girls who cleaned out the dirt from the horses shoes. Firefly, Running Brook, and ÖÖ.. finally met up with us to spend the rest of the day.
After going back back to the cabins and changing, we went down to the beach and went swimming. Firefly and ÖÖÖÖ went canoeing out to the island. After lunch, they announced that the pool was going to open. We all went up to the pool and shortly after we arrived there was a gigantic boom. It was thunder and it was close!!!! Everyone got out of the pool quickly. The rain came down in buckets. Everyone got drenched, even if they didnít get in the pool. We all went back to the cabin. It didnít take too long for the storm too pass over. Once it stopped, the sun came out and the rest of the weekend was absolutely beautiful. Everyone had some free time and went around scavenging, exploring, turtle hunting.
we had the Olympics. We all gathered in the big field behind the
cabin and started our games. Our first game was the three legged
race. Next we had the sppon carrying the egg race. Since we
had so many eggs unbroken, we then had the egg toss. The next event
was the ďSpongebob Bucket RaceĒ. Everyone got drenched.
The tug of war was next. We had a few tugs between the girls and
then we had the boys against the girls. Iíd like to say the boys
won, but I canít. The girls were just too much for us. Great
job girls. We ended up with the water balloon toss. We had
a great time. I think everyone came out a winner.
While we had a little free time, everyone went out and had some fun. We finally had our first meal at the dining hall. Saturday evening was our final Camp Fire of the year. We went out on the bluff to enjoy a beautiful sunset overlooking the water and the boats. Everyone roasted marshmallow and made Ďsimoresí. Some of the girls put on a wonderful skit for everyone. Finally all of the Indians got their Buffalo Blood, an authentic Indian Arrowhead, and a Indian Necklace in honor of the Buffalo and the life he symbolized to the Indians as well as completion of another season of growth.
We also honored several Indians who have completed the program and may move on to new adventures. These graduates are welcome to come back next year and help us in a newer role. Princess Talking Flower (Katie Blasko), Princess Morning Dove (Alyssa Snider) and Shooting Star (Christy Littlefield) all graduated at the ceremony. Each received a special gift as a symbol of Good Fortune, Intelligence, and Courage. I have known these Princesses for many years. Iíve seen them grow over the years into wonderful people, each special in their own way. I feel enrichened for having know them.
After the Camp Fire, we all headed back to Fischer Hall for our annual Ice Cream Social. We were lucky to have Simon (the head Camp Counselor) and 2 counselors from Europe join us. I have to say we had a wonderful day.
We woke up early Sunday morning for another try at canoeing. What a glorious morning it was! Quite a few large sailboats were anchored out in the water. The water was the most calm Iíve seen it in years. We all got in our canoes and immediately headed out to the island for some quick exploring. As we were getting ready to leave the island, one of the camp counselors in a boat, took us to find a sunken boat in one of the coves. Unfortunately, it was high tide and we were unable to locate the boat. We then headed back to the mess hall for breakfast.
After breakfast we went back to the cabins. Many of the girls went out for some last minute exploration for either turtles or for the scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, no other turtles were found. I think this is the 1st year we were unable to have a turtle race. Finally we had the tally for the scavenger hunt. Everyone did a great job on their hunt. This was the closest scavenger hunt Iíve seen in a long time.
I donít know about all of you, but I was exhausted when I got home. What a wonderful weekend we had!
final event of the year was a combination Baysox/End of the Year Splash. Thanks
to Firefly (Jeff Kramer) and the Baysox, we were treated to an afternoon
Baysox game. Although the Baysox didnít have a great afternoon, I
think all of us did. We were invited to go into the announcerís booth
and even have the Indians announce some of the players. After the
game, we all went over to the Littlefields for a delightful pool party.
I was surprised by how some of the Indians can make some big splashes.
I am very excited
about the upcoming year and hope to make it even better for all.
And now may the Great Spirit of all Great Spirits be with you now and forever!