By Andrea Caulfield '24
I was one of the eight students who were given the opportunity to travel to South Dakota last summer! We, as well as two teachers, spent five days on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Pine Ridge is among the largest reservations in the U.S. and is larger than both Rhode Island and Delaware combined. This was one of the best experiences, and we all had such a great time! On Saturday, you travel on a plane to South Dakota where sometimes there are powwows that night. Unfortunately, we did not get to go to one, but there is always a chance that next year’s group will be able too. Then on Sunday, we learned about the Lakota culture and their history; we visited Wounded Knee Massacre and heard the story from one of the Lakota people, tried “Indian tacos”, and hiked in the Badlands of South Dakota. The next three days are dedicated to service! Different activities are assigned to you each day, but they all are equally important; I built beds, gardened, and added boards for insulation around a trailer home. Each night there is then a speaker. All three speakers are from the Lakota tribe, and they each have something different to tell! This was my favorite part of the day. There are also many opportunities throughout all the days where you can buy from the local artisans and have conversations with them! They love to talk with you! On the last day at Pine Ridge, we visit different places like Mount Rushmore and the much larger, Crazy Horse Memorial. Because of the Wounded Knee Massacre story, which we heard on Sunday, we had a bit of a different view on Mount Rushmore than I would imagine most people have. Finally, on Friday we flew home. This was an amazing trip and I highly suggest you apply! It is so worth it!