Student News

South Dakota #3: Making Connections

Paulina Baltazar – June 12, 2018

Georgia Quesnelle ’19 and Kate Hickey ’20 describe an “amazing day” meeting, playing, and working on a new playground for the summer camp kids at the reservation.

In the morning, although very overwhelmed about all the kids coming, we set up and waited for the kids to arrive for camp. When they arrived the energy immediately shot up. In the AM the kids went crazy playing outside, doing arts and crafts, or watching a movie outside on this rainy morning. The weather warmed up and we all went outside to enjoy it and play with the kids.

In the afternoon, we spent more down time with the kids, reading books and playing board games. This was a really great moment for individual interactions with the Tiny Tots and getting to know all the kids. A special moment for me personally was the times I spent with one young boy, playing a made-up card game, Jenga, and watching a movie together. Although these were rather low-key activities I felt as though I saw a true connection forming.

Later into the day, we had teen time which was a really great way to get to know all the kids around our ages. We played volleyball, basketball, made friendship bracelets, and worked on a new climbing wall for the playground. While making new friends we got to hear their stories of what they do on a normal day, how Simply Smiles plays into that and what their favorite activities are. One of our new friends told us all about his experiences raising horses as a family business and all about one of his favorite race horse named Spirit. Overall, our first day of camp was an amazing day of new faces turning into new friends!