It’s halfway through the summer and KANA’s Explore the Rock and Tuesday Activity Days continue to be met with great enthusiasm. Kodiak youth have embraced the sun, rain, wind, and fog. They’ve hiked trails and mountains, and learned about bear safety and CPR. When asked what they loved most about these outdoor team activities, the answer was unanimous: they love the physical activities, teamwork and budding friendships.
While kids are learning skills and exploring, they are also able to open up about themselves and their experiences, and relate to one another. By fostering kids with a healthy and supportive network of peers and mentors, our staff and community mentors promote healthy habits, teamwork, cooperation, patience, good sportsmanship, and respect.
Ouzinkie Summer Challenge participants have expressed the same enthusiasm, most recently holding an Alutiiq Summer Dance Camp. Participants were able to attend a week-long class taught by Samantha Heglin and Peter Squartsoff. The duo actively engaged with youth as they shared stories about the history of each song they taught. Youth who may have otherwise remained unengaged were able to blossom through the self-expression of dance. Members of the group performed at a potluck where community members joined in. The purpose of the Alutiiq Summer Challenge is to encourage youth to serve Elders and the Elders to teach youth. It is also an opportunity to encourage kids to be active during the summer months.
Supportive relationships and engaging activities foster an environment that builds resiliency and ultimately reduces the risk of youth engaging in harmful behaviors and activities, like drug and alcohol abuse, or bullying.