My name is Sheldon Scow my traditional name is Nu’yam’tsa, which translates to “Legend on the Shore”.  I had my own worries before we started this summer camp.  Are we going to get enough applicants?  Are the students going to participate in any of the activities we have planned?  What about the cultural events are they going to be respectful?  However the thing I was most worried about was if the students and myself were going to get along.  But after spending time with these wonderful individuals the past couple days I realize that those were just my own issues.

I’m not used to being a mentor or a role model it’s something I’ve been growing into the past couple years.  But after talking with the students I see now that I can help them with their educational journeys.  The other night at our talking circle some of the students opened up and shared a lot.  Those who shared they inspired me I see that these are our future Indigenous leaders. The fact that they took the first step and came to this summer camp shows they are way ahead of me when I was their ages.

As for my own worries they all surpassed my expectations.  First we got plenty of applicants so the numbers weren’t an issue.  Secondly the students seemed to really enjoy themselves while doing the activities we planned for them which was amazing.  Next I have to admit that the students were more patient then myself at the Naming Ceremony we took them to Sunday afternoon.  It was a long ceremony and all the students were really respectful and patient which just touched my heart they showed the respect that was deserved and in return got respect themselves.  Lastly was my issue if I would get along with the students and since its the last night of our camp I can honestly say I’m going to miss every single one of these students.  They’re a special group with their own unique personalities and after spending this much time with them they are all my little brothers and sisters and I hope we can keep in contact after camp ends.

I’ve seen so much strength, emotion, and resilience from these students the past couple days they’ve inspired me to continue to grow as a individual and learn more about my culture.  With the camp being so short I didn’t get to know all the students as much as I’d like but hopefully we’ll all keep in contact.  They’ve showed me so much about myself and I hope that I’ve helped them in any little way.

Gilakas’la (thank you)

Sheldon Scow