Getting Back to Nature


Youth Learn to Appreciate American Indian Culture on Camping Trip
4-6 grade students in the summer Youth Enrichment Program traveled to Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls, WI for a 3-day camping trip. The Youth Enrichment Program is one of the programs in the Department of Indian Work at the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches.

Charles Swallow and Emily Gilbert goin' fishin’

Charles Swallow and Emily Gilbert goin’ fishin’

During the summer, the Youth Enrichment Program takes place 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This program helps students succeed in school through tutoring and gives students the opportunity to participate in American Indian cultural enrichment activities.

The camping trip is certainly the highlight of the summer for many students. While at camp, the students enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, and fishing. “Respecting and preserving nature is a very important tradition in American Indian culture,” said Donna Stein, Department of Indian Work staff. “This camping trip is one way we can share these values with our youth by allowing them time to relax and enjoy their natural surroundings.”

Emily Gilbert

Emily Gilbert

“This is my second year going on this trip,” said 9-year old, Emily Gilbert. “I love going on walks around the lake.” Emily also enjoys being with her friends, eating s’mores at the campfire, and walking around barefoot. “Look, I am still barefoot,” she laughed.

The camping trip was the last activity for the Youth Enrichment Program this summer. In September, the after school program will begin. This trip was a wonderful opportunity for students to connect with nature, while spending quality time with their friends.


For more information about DIW Youth Enrichment Program, contact:

Sue Bobolink
Department of Indian Work Youth Enrichment Project Coordinator