Native American Day Camp Teaches Patchers New Cultures

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Stories from The Patch

This summer’s Native American Day Camp explored the crafts, games, food and outdoor skills of several Native American tribes including: Hopi, Cheyenne, Iroquois and Cherokee. The Cabbage Patch chose to bring this camp to children because it allows them to learn about other cultures and study history that they might not have had time to study in school.

“The purpose of Native American Day Camp is to teach Patch children the history of America, the art and culture of Native Americans and the folklore behind it,” said Elizabeth Smith, Recreation & Youth Development Specialist for The Cabbage Patch.

During the week, children took a field trip to the Falls of the Ohio, where an archaeologist showed tools that Native Americans used to survive, and explained that they were made from animals. They also visited Otter Creek, where they learned how to do archery and went fishing.

Crafts included making dream catchers, kachina dolls and headdresses. The children learned that dream catchers were created to catch bad dreams while the good dreams would know how to pass through. They also learned that kachina dolls represent the spirits of natural elements, animals or deceased ancestors. Meanwhile, headdresses were created to show importance and honor, and some even thought they would protect a warrior during battle.

“One camper got very creative with the headdress and dream catcher by asking to put pink, purple and jewels on it,” Elizabeth said.

Campers left the week with a greater understanding of the Native American culture, history and creative crafts that represent their own creativity and personality.