by Cassidy Gillard
Seeing kids come out of a camp day with something that they are super proud of is one of my favorite parts of camp. Whether it is an art project, or a new skill, they tend to radiate this smiley, joyful pride when the day is over, and each day, I see something new from Indian Lore that the children are proud of learning.
The beauty of our tipi where the Indian Lore program happens is that it is settled above the ranch in its own peaceful pasture. It’s almost like a separation from the hustle and bustle of the rest of camp, which provides a more authentic Nature experience. When kids get started on an art project in the tipi, the peace and quiet of the pasture allows them to be engaged and put really beautiful thought into their work. When kids need to run around and burn off some extra energy, they can play games or forage or build tools with all of the nature that surrounds the tipi.
We’ve had many different people bring various activities and games to camp, and it is fascinating to see how much an activity can vary. Indian Lore is one of the activities that is constantly changing and evolving with each different person that comes through to share their knowledge. There is a wide variety of things that can be done, and each group can have their own personalized experience. I’ve seen kids come out of that tipi with so many different skills, ideas, and art projects that it is hard to narrow down what goes on there.
One of the best things that I’ve seen, though, is that kids come out of it with this understanding of how to respect the earth. I think kids who grow up in Boulder already have a pretty earth-conscious background, however I think what they learn in Indian Lore gives them a greater sense of how important it is to be kind and respectful towards nature. The Native Americans who were here so long before us used this land for every part of their lives, and I think that our Indian Lore instructors do an incredible job of teaching campers how to be resourceful.
The Ranch has a strong dedication to honoring the Native Americans who used and cared for the land before us, and our Indian Lore program is one of the ways that we do that. Teaching the next generation to be proud, be peaceful, be respectful, and be resourceful is just as important to us as getting wild and silly and being free to explore at camp!