arrival at camp

Arrival at camp

Raven’s had his first experience with a sleep-over camp this week. He went with 24 other 6th–9th graders from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe to a beautiful spot on Lake Crescent, NatureBridge. The facility hosts a variety of camps and events and their staff joined with elders and teachers from the Tribe to give the kids an amazing cultural experience. The last night they paddled two huge canoes across the lake and camped.

Paddlers at work

Canoe returns from camping uplake

headed for shore

Paddlers at work

getting into positiion for landing

Getting into position for landing

When they returned to camp the last day we were on the shore to greet them along with members of the tribe and the drum group, who welcomed them with a traditional song.
Two of the older girls were “skippers” of the canoes and it was a little surprising to see how well the kids had learned to manage them. It was rough and they were wet from spray but very proud of themselves. It was a touching experience to see them come to shore while the drummers and singers welcomed them. The custom is that the one person from each canoe introduces herself and tells where she is from, then requests permission to come ashore. The is done first in the Klallam language, which was nearly extinct a few years ago, then in English. Then the leader ashore responds giving permission.

waiting for permissiion to come ashore

Waiting for permission to come ashore

This ceremony was followed by a salmon dinner, with salmon cooked in the traditional style over an open fire. Singing, dancing and drumming followed, with families joining in.


Salmon cooking over the fire

Mesky straight

Dancing and singing after dinner. Mesky, our daughter in law joined in the fun with Seneca.

The Canoe Journey will begin in a few days and tribes from along the Pacific Coast from Oregon to Canada will send nearly 100 canoes to the celebration which will take place August 1 to 6 and will be hosted this year by the Quinault Indian Nation. Seneca and Raven will participate in the celebration.

We have been working on their regalia–and more will be coming on this subject!


Getting the regalia ready for Seneca to wear at the Canoe Journey celebration