First Day of Work….So Much to Do!

by Maria and Diane

Woke up to more beautiful sunshine and started the day with various breakfast options, coffee and tea.We had a quick team meeting where we added “dogs” to the safety/security list – they seem to have the run of the town. Just prior to the Community Meeting, Ginny Weeks from the library told us the story of the Bear River Massacre, which is depicted on the buffalo hide hanging on the walls of our meeting room.

That got me thinking to how many stories I had heard in the two days since we arrived – it is a culture of story telling, and everyone has time to stop and share their stories – to the point where 75 people turned up to hear the story of the Bear River Massacre at the library when the hide was being presented after being stored away for some time.  We learned from Darrell that some found the story “healing”, but it also “opened the eyes” of some of the younger generation to a raw part of their history.  But the stories persist for others to learn and to teach.

We then had the community meeting where 6 were present to introduce themselves, their   positions and their volunteer needs: Ginny from the BCC library, Smokey from BCC facilities, Bob regarding the teen camp, Elva from the Children’s Center, Sean Pitts from Manpower, and Craig Falcon from the International Traditional Games Society. As you can imagine with our diverse but flexible team, everyone found projects to interest themselves and so, many roles were filled.

Inquiring minds learned the following:

Charlotte assisted Dr. Thomas, a Navaho, and a chemical engineer from NASA who were together running a one week camp for middleschoolers. There were 12 kids from 6-8 grade, with 5 girls that Charlotte helped supervise. Other counselors were college age, some from the University of Montana. The kids made hot air balloons out of tissue paper, and they plan to set them free tomorrow.  They also made rockets out of paper card stock and had a competition all afternoon. If you need proof – one rocket is on the roof of the Higher Learning building down by the gym.  Ask Charlotte about lunch at the “Gas Pump”.

Kathy M, Diane and Ali went to the Eagle Shield Senior Center, where they trayed lunches for community elders. Lunch was available free to those that were seniors in the community, and for a nominal fee for others.  They got their food, sat and ate and talked. Ali played “receptionist” while lunch was being served. In the afternoon, they all headed to the BF Care Center, where they met with the activity coordinator, to determine what they could do to help out. Ali played blackjack with some elders, while Diane spoke with 80 year old Barbara and painted her nails the “brightest color in the box”.

Kathy was put to work  as Mother Nature’s helper – working on plants that had been left out in the cold, attempting to bring them back to life so the elders have them healthy and lively through the summer and beyond – long after Team 96 is done.

Kyle had a FUN DAY constructing bunk beds, step ladders and hunting others to fulfill his free time coordinator role. Thanks Kyle! And Martha let her creative juices continue to flow, finishing up her illustrations for the children’s book she started on Team 95. Kyle and Martha are going OUTSIDE tomorrow…..if they have the energy post sweat.

And finally, after a short 15 minute drive out to East Glacier, the 6 of us: Maria, Diane, Margaret, Kathy, Bunny and Gale, drove down a small and very bumpy road to two amazing houses in the woods.  The bigger house was  cedar cabin neighboring a garden which houses not only beautiful pieces of art but most of all Deanna Leader, the creator of the International Games project. On the other side of the garden was a smaller house, which held all of the games and the major office. The day started with mostly cleaning: sweeping the floor, organizing boxes, and shaking out old rugs. As the day went on there was serious improvement in both the paperwork and the organization of the games. Mainly consisting of rocks, sticks, and the occasional hacky sack, it was interesting to see the variety of games these simple items created. While Gale filled balloons with the exact same amount of sand, Bunny mastered the old sewing machine.

At around 3 we had a break during which Deanna gave us a tour of her house along with her life story. We sat on the screen porch and heard about her husband, children, and this project that has grown so much over time. After the break, Gale and Bunny headed off with Craig to accompany our fellow volunteers to the sweat, while we returned to the office. We constructed kick balls out of hacky sacks, braided yarn, and attached to the previously filled sand balloons. After we were done, we met up with Deanna to head back to the BCC, on the way stopping to pick up her grandson and his friend who had an interest in going to the sweat.

When we arrived at the BCC, we met Diane, Ali, and Charlotte along with Ann. We traveled to The Hut to eat our dinner, the choices ranging from frybread burgers to Indian tacos to Nachos. Our conversation covered what everyone had done throughout the day and so much more. We once again returned to the BCC to shower, make some root beer floats and play cards. Overall, despite the hectic-ness of the beginning of the day, I feel we accomplished a lot in ways that interested us individually.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply