Vol. LIV No. 6
June 2019

Tribe’s summer camps, academies inspire young imaginations

What are the keys to opening a young person’s mind and stimulating his or her imagination?

How do we create a sense of hope and joy about the future in our young people?

At the Chickasaw Nation, we are actively engaged in summer programs designed to achieve those goals, and create exciting new experiences for our students.

Chickasaws and the Chickasaw Nation have long understood the importance of quality educational experiences. Dating back to the institutions created following removal to the new Chickasaw Nation, Chickasaws have wanted their children supplied with the educational tools required to be successful.

Chickasaw Male Academy, Bloomfield Female Seminary and Wapanucka Institute, among others, sprang up about 30 years following removal. Those facilities offered what we could refer to today as a high school education.

In today’s world, we know reaching our kids successfully is more challenging. They must learn in both traditional and non-traditional ways. They must be exposed to new and positive learning experiences that propel their thinking and their imaginations. Getting and maintaining a modern student’s attention is no easy chore! Back in the 19th Century, there was no television, no internet, no mobile devices, no movies, no automobiles, no social media. Things have definitely changed!

Your tribe reaches out to Chickasaw children and teens with a thoughtful array of summer camps, academies and activities. We seek to engage our youth as we immerse them in everything from technology to the environment, the arts to engineering, Chickasaw culture to air and space aviation.

And our young people are responding in a big way! We are working hard to accommodate every Chickasaw student who wants a place in a tribal summer education event. More and more students apply each year, and that is a wonderful outcome. The best part is we are always expanding our offerings and our students are enjoying educational experiences that impact them for their entire lifetimes.

A few people know very early on in life what they want to do in their adult working lives. But that is the exception rather than the rule. Most young people are thirsty for new experiences that will potentially inspire them to successful and rewarding careers. That’s what our summer programs are all about!

A student in a Chickasaw Nation summer camp whose main subject is our natural environment may decide to become a naturalist, geologist or water quality scientist. The student in our arts academy may determine classical music composition, graphic design or interpretative dance have the makings of good careers. A participant in our air and space academy could conclude he or she wants a career in aircraft design, aviation safety or our military.

We design each and every camp, academy and activity to be something special and compelling. Each experience should inspire the interest of one, several or all students participating. We want them each to feel that special connection to a discipline that makes them think, “Yes, I think that could be my future!”

Summer is a special time in the Chickasaw Nation. We are focused on our children, their growth and their futures. This is the time for their minds to explore and be amazed by the many elements of our modern world. As they learn more about their tribe, their world and the people around them, we are hopeful they discover something they truly love to do!

As they grow and mature to adulthood, we all succeed as Chickasaw people. We seek to provide the building blocks that will make the strong foundation of the careers our young people choose. When that special experience “clicks” with a student, that’s when we have created the spark that can lead to a wonderful and fulfilling life of achievement.