Another year of Sappony Camp has come and gone. 2019 marked 18 years of our camp - 18 years of educating Sappony youth on their history, land, community, culture and watching them form lifelong bonds with cousins and friends.
We started the week with a conversation on what it means to be Sappony and what it means to be Indian - which framed our week full of lessons on culture and history. Campers participated in team building activities with Lee Stuart and worked on their craft, wooden quilt squares, with Darrian Glasscock. Martin Saniga led us in a Tutelo language sessions. Campers learned to say numbers 1 - 5 and common words such as thank you, hello, friend, cousin, eat and drink in Tutelo.* We even had our cabin numbers in Tutelo!
*Note: Tutelo is a Siouan language of Virginia. It was not a language spoken by Sappony historically, however, it is the closest language documented to the “Saponi” language, a dialect of Tutelo.
We learned beading and quilting - emphasizing traditional Sappony colors red and blue - and completed an entire quilt topper with the help of every camper and adult volunteers. On Wednesday, we took a field trip to an 18th century replica Siouan village in Hillsborough, NC. Campers and adults learned about the types of houses and villages our people would have lived in before colonization. In other sessions, Della Fay Martin and staff from the NC Commission of Indian Affairs educated campers on signs of human trafficking and cyber bullying. We also enjoyed a powwow etiquette session! Many guests from different tribes came to talk to us about powwow etiquette, the meaning behind different types of dance and songs, and led us in social dances such as the Pigeon and the Rabbit dance. We still had time to canoe, swim, attended Bible School at Calvary Baptist Church, and work on a community project cleaning up the steps at Mayo Chapel.
This year we learned to be flexible and “go with the flow” due to severe weather, which impacted our electricity, water and locations - but more importantly, it taught us what it means to come together as a community and help one another in times of need.
Thank you so much to our wonderful CITs and counselors, over 50 adult volunteers, Sappony Heritage Youth Camp Committee staff and all of the community members and sponsors who pitched in to make this camp happen. Check out our awesome 2019 Sappony Youth Camp video below or at this link: https://youtu.be/yyLaEeOpZs0
Special thanks to Chris Martin and his family for all the hard work and dedication for Sunday night’s dinner, and to Garrey Martin’s Concessions for feeding us not once but twice this year. Thank you to Miss Indian NC (Cheyenne Daniel), dancers (Seneka Locklear and Kenyonna Deese), drummers (Cory Brewington and Joe Liles), and presenters (Mark Deese, Vivette Jeffries-Logan, and Sharn Jeffries) for sharing your knowledge and talents. We would also like to acknowledge donors who contributed to our camp for such wonderful things as a Bojangles biscuit breakfast, overall catering, and sponsorships for camper registration fees. Many thanks also to the Sappony Education Fund; PuroClean Disaster Restoration of Charleston SC (Dawn and Mark Erickson, owners, given in honor of Annie Epps Boisvert & Louis Raymond Boisvert); James Earwood/Anne McDonald; Curtis and Suzi Shepherd (in memory of Dakota Shepherd); Katherine Whitfield (in memory of Dakota Shepherd); James Memory (in memory of Sue Memory); Kernersville Women’s Club; Denise Desiderio (in memory of Dakota Shepherd); Margaret Humphries; Tom and Wina Epps; DATCO; Frances Short; Kendrick Portable Toilet Rentals; Lowe’s Home Improvement; Sherwin Williams; and Healthy Native North Carolinians (Healthy Blue).
We would also like to thank the 40+ volunteers that came out to support the Sappony 5K as well as our generous sponsors for their support, which contributes to the success of our heritage and youth camp program. Person County Tourism Development Authority; Mayo Lake Park; VEL and TP Solutions; Duke Energy; Wells Fargo; KB Hamlett Insurance; Person Developers, Inc.; Regan & Sons Heating & AC; Clements Construction; Brooks & White Funeral Home; Roxboro Savings & Loan; North Main IGA; Bullock Lumber; Walker Insurance Agency; Strickland & Jones Funeral Home; North State Medical Center; Marks & Harrison; Piedmont Electric Maintenance Co Op; Cole’s Pharmacy; Union Bank; Roxboro Family Medicine & Immediate Care; Talbert’s Building Supply; Harris Printing; Kendrick Portable Toilets; Datco Party Rentals; James Cook Photography; Adpro; and Roxboro Chamber of Commerce.