Ho-Chunk RV Resort and Campground hosts annual Youth Culture Camp

By Gary Garvin

     Youth from grades 6 through grades 12 spent a handful of days away from their tablets and cellphones immersed in nature, Ho-Chunk culture, and each other’s company during this year’s Ho-Chunk Culture Camp.
     Ho-Chunk RV Resort and Campground in Lyndon Station, Wisconsin hosted 139 youth at the annual camp and was made possible through a conglomeration of Ho-Chunk Nation departments. 
     The camp brought youth together from each of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s youth centers and the Ain Dah Yung Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Ho-Chunk Nation has youth centers located in Black River Falls, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Nekoosa, St. Paul, Tomah, Baraboo, and Wittenberg.
     The camp provided activities to support healthy, substance-free youth who are empowered through language, culture, and traditional values to encourage and develop positive cultural identities as young Ho-Chunk leaders. 
     Youth participated in activities including canoeing, lacrosse, double ball, bead working, moccasin making, drumming, hide tanning, social dancing, archery, and Ho-Chunk language learning.
     Camp Director Danielle DeLong commented on the importance of youth participation at the Ho-Chunk Culture Camp. Many of the youth are coming from urban communities where they aren’t accustomed to seeing how hides are tanned or seeing how a ciiporoke (wigwam) is built. It is crucial to not only show the youth these different cultural practices and principles but also to have youth learn them and participate in them.