GRIC Youth learn about health and wellness at Wings of America camp
July 6, 2018
Gila River Indian News
Gila River Indian Community youth take flight at a running camp held at Sacaton Middle School on June 26.
Over a dozen youth took to the school’s outdoor track for a quick jog, maintaining their pace together as a group.
After warming up they went into the school gymnasium for a couple of fun activities, like a relay activity and dodge ball game.
The focus of the camp is to be always moving, but to have fun while doing it and takeaway some important information on self-care.
Wings of America running camp head facilitator Julian Catha said there’s more to just running, because it introduces them to physical activities with a Native twist.
Catha, a member from the Santa Clara Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, has been with WOA for three years and said every opportunity to interact with different tribes is a learning experience.
“We do two day running camps all over the Pueblo region and Navajo region,” said Catha, “We hope to encourage them to get out more and teach these games to their friends.”
He said it was his first time facilitating a camp on the Community, but that it was a fun experience getting to know the people and culture of the people.
WOA Program Coordinator Alicia Littlebear said the activities are meant to teach the kids to connect back with their culture and what running means to them.
“We are teaching them about health, so this year our focus is on kidney health,” said Littlebear, “It’s about teaching the kids how the kidneys function and what it does for them.”
She said the emphasis is taking care of their bodies and preventing health complications.
“Of course, there are health care systems, but it’s very, very difficult when they are at the level to get a replacement organ like a kidney, so you have to be aware and take care of yourself,” said Littlebear.