Day #17

The Inauguration…

Today marked the end of our first week of official camp time. I’m not really counting the weeks, but I suppose in a way I am…The passing of time is kind of strange for me right now. To be honest I feel like I have already been in Fort Hope for a long time, when really I have only been here for about a week and a half. It’s strange how familiar the town and our routine feels. I haven’t grown complacent or anything, I’m still out trying to meet as many people as possible, and have as many new experiences as I can, but really, I feel as though I have been on the reserve for a considerable amount of time.

The final day of this week’s camp was supposed to consist of some baking in the morning (to get rid of our extra apples from snack…the apples were on their way out when we received them and now they are really on the edge…cooking with them is about their only good use) and a scavenger hunt in the afternoon. We had a whole set of clues ready to go and had even arranged to have community members be involved in the hunt. However, yesterday, our plans were unexpectedly dashed. Early yesterday afternoon I was out arranging one of our scavenger hunt stops with the Health and Social Services people when one of them casually mentioned that the inauguration of the new band council was taking place the following day. The time was 2pm, right smack in the middle of our planned scavenger hunt…Apparently the whole town was going to shut down (all stores and offices) so that people could attend the ceremony. I just started to laugh! We had to completely scrap our scavenger hunt and postpone it until next week. The news was just plain funny for me because the whole situation is very typical of Fort Hope. I told Nanajean the news and she just started to laugh…Everyone had thought that the inauguration was going to be next week…Everyone included the entire band office staff, because Jenette had just been there and not a single person had mentioned it to her. All in all it doesn’t really matter that the scavenger hunt didn’t happen today, because well, we have the rest of the summer…Patience and flexibility are definitely key elements to this job!

Instead of conducting our scavenger hunt we (with some protest from the kids) encouraged the afternoon campers to come down the hill to the arena for the ceremony. At first they didn’t really want to come, but fortunately we were able to add some excitement to the event by giving out digital cameras. The kids got really into the cameras and were like miniature paparazzi! The ceremony itself was not necessarily anything too exciting. It was long and even I was getting restless, I couldn’t really blame the fidgety kids. Overall, the inauguration was a very low key affair and did not really feature much of a show. There was a little bit of traditional drumming, a number of Christian prayers, a prayer circle and food afterwards.

In other news…This weekend Courtny, Jenette and I will be attending a hand drumming workshop on Saturday and Sunday. The only unfortunate thing about this is that we have no idea when it is going to start…Like so many things in Fort Hope, time is not really a consideration. The poster for the event told you who to contact to sign up, but did not disclose the time of the workshops! We’re just going to have to keep our ears to the ground and hope to hear something. Also, today we had a chance to meet with one of the most interesting characters in Fort Hope. His town nickname is HP and his real name is Harry. Harry is the youth and community spirit engine of the town and has a multitude of fictional personalities that he acts out on a regular basis. He has multiple famous radio show voices: one deep sexy voice, one high squeaky puppet voice and at least 5 others. He is also responsible for creating such phenomenons as the ‘French Chef’ and ‘Little Rambo’. HP gave us the lowdown on what events were upcoming in the community, and what things to watch out for when planning our own.

There are two events in particular that are of extreme interest to me. The first is a boxing match that HP has set to run sometime next week. Harry’s 82 year old father and his 82 year old opponent from the ‘glory days’ of Fort Hope boxing will be opening the evening with a choreographed fight to re-enact and age old battle! I’m really looking forward to seeing it! Then the title bout is to follow, with HP taking on another member of the town in what is sure to be a hilariously comical bout! The second event that I’m cautiously looking forward to is an event called camp Bigfoot. The camp gives youth and their families the opportunity to go together to a secluded (well, almost everywhere is secluded up here) camp site for an entire week of camping. Harry wants to encourage all of the kids in camp to go, so it is looking like camp will not officially be run in Fort Hope during that week, and we’ll be joining the kids and HP on a week long camping trip! HP was very adament that our help would be valued and that if we stayed in town he would steal all of our kids from us and throw them on boats for camp, so…I can’t believe that I am just two short weeks away from a 7 day camping trip…I don’t even know what I’m going to do haha…and in a strange, apprehensive sort of way I am looking forward to going….

Aside from that, we have decided that we are going to begin running some community events starting next week. The plan is to start weekly women’s broomball games on Tuesday nights, music and singing time on Wednesday nights and co-ed floor hockey on Thursday nights. It is also likely that we are going to run some or all of the following events: movie night, dance, girl’s night, guy’s night. We’re going to be careful not to burn ourselves out, but we do want to make sure that we have some things going on in the evenings. It is our hope that these events will also help to drive interest in the camp so that we can add some more kids before the end of the month.

Anyway, aside from that I don’t really have all that much else to say…I’m pretty proud of myself, this is the first night that I have been finished writing before 12:00am. It’s about time I got a bit more sleep I think.

–Be kind to each other and don’t fall down.

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