Youth Camp Brings Teens to Badlands

Since 2012, students from the Calhoun School in New York City have joined with South Dakota teens from the Red Cloud Indian School and Wall High School for a weeklong Youth Camp in March. Days are filled with hikes and activities facilitated by park rangers, resource managers, and teachers. Participants spend their nights in park housing or camping out under the stars.

Watch the series of six videos below to discover what made the Youth Camp such a transformative experience for the teens and adults who participated.

 

Youth Perspectives on Badlands National Park

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Duration:
2 minutes, 21 seconds

Students from the Calhoun School in New York City describe the relevance of Badlands National Park for urban teens. "It’s not only the space, but the quietness, the people--it’s a completely different culture. You come here and you’re amazed at everything," says Matthew.

 

An Oglala Lakota Perspective on the Youth Camp

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Duration:
2 minutes, 27 seconds

Russ Cournoyer, the spiritual formation teacher at Red Cloud Indian School, and student Kristian talk about the connections between people from different cultural backgrounds that came out of the Youth Camp experience.

 

Engaging Youth

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Duration:
2 minutes, 29 seconds

Badlands National Park Chief of Resource Education Jennie Kish Albrinck reflects on the significance of the Youth Camp as part of the larger National Park Service mission. She sees the Youth Camp mission as a great way to help teens from different backgrounds "to experience the wilderness of the Badlands, while sharing their own cultures and learning about local culture."

 

A City Kid in Badlands

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Duration:
5 minutes, 10 seconds

Calhoun School teacher and former Badlands Artist in Residence Gary Joseph Cohen describes how the wild prairie landscape affects himself and his students.  "They’re using parts of their minds in such an integrative way that I don’t even recognize them sometimes ... they’re just so much more fully spectral than they are when they’re expected to be in a building all day."

 

Youth Camp Origins

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Duration:
2 minutes, 13 seconds

Badlands Education Specialist Julie Johndreau discusses how the Youth Camp came to be and its importance in connecting youth to the park.

 

An Artist's Vision

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Duration:
3 minutes, 32 seconds

Artist in Residence Jessica Bryant, a Youth Camp mentor, describes how art is a great way for youth to connect with the Badlands.

 
three Youth Camp participants stand atop the badlands formations, silhouetted against a twilight sky
2013 Youth Camp participants from the Red Cloud Indian School look for the first stars of the evening.

NPS/Dudley Edmondson

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PO Box 6
Interior, SD 57750

Phone:

(605) 433-5361

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