Vida Del Norte has been collaborating with Localogy over the last couple of summers to provide a summer camp for the youth of our community. This was the third year that we hosted campers with outdoor recreation based on cultural ties. This summer we hosted between 15-20 campers. It was a truly unique experience. Through a collaboration with New Mexico Workforce Solutions, we were able to hire 21 interns ages 14 to 18 as youth camp counselors. They served as mentors for the camp kids and we used the buddy system where they were all responsible for helping and keeping an eye on their little buddies.
There were several water activities such as fishing and river fun at the Red River Fish Hatchery. They took a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado, and visited the DR3 Ranch in Costilla where they got to meet and handle goats, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and sheep.
They went kayaking in the Rio Grande at the John Dunn Bridge. There was hiking up Columbine Canyon, and floating down Costilla Creek at the Rio Costilla Cattle and Land Association (RCCLA), along with getting to play in the acequia.
There were also some great times for the camp kids to express their artistic talents. They helped paint existing murals as well as some of the tables at the Questa Farmers Market. After watching a puppet show at La Sala, they had the opportunity to make puppets with clay. They also experienced equine therapy with miniature ponies at Mini Manes and Tails in Arroyo Seco. Camp kids also participated in a social emotional workshop with Youth Heartline. Vida Del Norte continues to provide support and promote growth through body, mind, and spirit to our youth so that they may grow to be strong, kind humans.
Vida’s interns began work the last week of June assisting in community work prior to camp; they helped out at the North Central Food Pantry and La Sala’s dance camp, they helped clean up some classrooms and offices at the Alta Vista Elementary and Questa High School, and they also assisted with cleanup of the grounds at Vida. They were fully trained for the camp and received CPR training as well. Since then, they received financial literacy training through Questa Credit Union and will be trained in resume writing and interviewing skills before the end of summer. It has been a pleasure working with these young people this summer. They have gained so many skills and I hope that they will continue to work with us for years to come.