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A stalwart contingent from Brown Memorial traveled to the Upper Sioux Indian Community in western Minnesota for the fourth Pejuhutazizi Family Learning Camp (PFLC), July 25-28. Five families from Brown and one family from Hunting Ridge Presbyterian attended. In all, 17 people traveled from Baltimore and partnered with the Pejuhutazizi Presbyterian Church to host the camp.
The PFLC was launched in 2013 to provide a chance for children from the Baltimore Presbytery and the Upper Sioux Community in Granite Falls, Minn., to get to know each other and keep their minds active during the summer months. But Brown Memorial has been working with Native American communities each summer even longer – since 2003.
At this year’s PFLC, a very large group of campers in pre-K, first grade and second grade participated, with many older kids and their parents who participated in past years stopping by to say hello.
In addition to organized outdoor games (a competitive adult versus kids kickball game has become an annual tradition), highlights of the daytime learning camp included canvas painting with a traditional tipi pattern, learning about kinesiology by making working models of the campers’ hands, using black plastic trash bags to make skeleton costumes, conducting computer mapping projects at a GIS (geographic information system) station that included predicting how the spread of the emerald ash borer will harm Minnesota’s ash trees, siting potential spots for wind turbines in the state, and spotting the campers’ homes using satellite imagery and GIS data.
“The kids at Upper Sioux are delightful and it’s been a pleasure and a blessing to get to know them, their parents and their community,” says Brown member Bill McConnell, who attended this year’s PFLC with wife Laura and son Liam.
Bill adds that it would be nice for “new blood” to attend next year’s camp.
Adults and high schoolers interested in joining the PFLC staff, or parents with kids interested in becoming campers alongside the Minnesota kids, are asked to contact Chrystie Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org, or anyone else who has participated in the trips.