On Thursday, November 10th 2011, Youth Leader’s in Service held a lock-in sleep-over in which our focus was appreciating our Veteran’s. At 9pm, when the Teen Center closed down, we were just beginning our night. We started off with pizza, snacks and drinks during a discussion of what activities we had in store for everyone as well as what Veteran’s Day means to us. We then began writing our personalized “Thank You” cards to the Veterans. While the Youth Leaders were writing their Thank You notes, the Adult Mentors began putting Veteran’s Day Care Packages together. These care packages were decorated in red, white and blue and each contained a blanket, a granola bar, an apple, an orange, raisins, and assorted hygiene products.
After all 50 care packages were assembled, decorated and adorned with a Thank You card. We celebrated with more pizza and root-beer floats, then we played basketball in the gym. We finished the night watching a movie together (A Knight’s Tale) and falling asleep sprawled out over mats on the Teen Center floor. We all woke up around 8:30am the next morning to pancakes and hot chocolate, we cleaned up, got ready for the day and then headed over to the Nutrition Center to ask the Veteran’s if they needed help with setting up or preparing for the Honoring Ceremony, they said that they did not need any assistance but were excited to hear that we had 50 Care Packages that we wished to present to the Veteran’s. We were invited to be part of the ceremony, in which we handed out our care packages and shook the hand of every Veteran who was present at the Honoring, thanking them for their Courage and Service. When there were more care-packages than present veterans, we then handed out the remaining care-packages to the Elders and drum circle who we also wished to Thank.
Not only did we have a blast during this lock-in sleep-over, but we also were honored to Thank our Veteran’s in this way as well as learn what it means to serve. We learned pieces of our own History and Culture by listening to the speeches given at the Honoring. One adult Volunteer Mentor had never experienced an Honoring Ceremony like that before and was asked by a Veteran if she thought it strange that they would hold such a ceremony after all of the wrongs that have been done to the Native people. He went on to explain the reasoning behind this. Many of the Youth Leaders were fascinated by elders who attended the ceremony who were speaking the Lakota language. This was a very meaningful, educational, and honorable experience for the Youth Leaders and Mentors and we would like to Thank the Cheyenne River Youth Project as well as Hopa Mountain for their support in our accomplishing this.
Meta Charger Writing Thank You Cards to Veteran’s.
Youth Mentor’s with Veteran’s after the Honoring Ceremony.
Cake’s served after the Honoring Ceremony.
Care Package Bags.
Writing Thank You Cards.
Handing out care packages/shaking the hands of Veteran’s to say Thank You!