2017 Zen Peacemakers Native American Summer Programs



JOIN THE ZEN PEACEMAKERS IN SERVING at CHEYENNE RIVER RESERVATION and BEARING WITNESS TO THE BLACK HILLS.

JOIN EITHER OR BOTH WEEKS

WEEK #1 – WEEK OF SERVICE ON CHEYENNE RIVER RESERVATION

AUGUST 5-12 2017 $1250 

> See what your fee includes below, Registration for Week #1 Ends 7/1/2017 <

WEEK #2 – BEARING WITNESS PLUNGE IN THE BLACK HILLS

AUGUST 14-18 2017 $250 

> See what your fee includes below, Registration for Week #2 Ends 8/1/2017 <

Mitakuye Oyasin — all my relations — is an essential Lakota understanding.  Zen Peacemakers is honored to continue the deepening of relations with the Lakota following our 2015 Native American Bearing Witness Retreat, the 2016 Cheyenne River Plunge, and the Zen Peacemaker presence at Standing Rock in fall and winter 2016.  Although the 2017 service trip and bearing witness plunge are new offerings, they are the fruit of an 18-year relationship between the Lakota and Zen Peacemakers’ members, some of which is shared in our blog.

Above is a video following the Zen Peacemakers plunge in Cheyenne River in 2016

CLICK ON THE TABS BELOW ON THE LEFT FOR INFORMATION ABOUT EACH WEEK


WEEK #1 REGISTRATION ENDS 7/1/2017. Register Today!

During the Zen Peacemakers plunge in Cheyenne River Sioux tribe reservation in summer 2016, we have visited Simply Smiles Camp, a summer camp drawing communities from around the United States, that every year erects houses and supports the children and community of local Lakota families at the reservation. This year, Zen Peacemakers are planning a full week of service with Simply Smiles, and we are looking for up to 35 participants who’d like to get their hands dirty while immersed in the beautiful Cheyenne River hills and its welcoming community, practicing meditation and council sharing circles and developing our appreciation of the Three Tenets of Not Knowing, Bearing Witness and Taking Action.

“We had the honor of working on a house that will be the home of a local man. The conversations, the companionship of the people from Simply Smiles, a chance to talk with the future-owner of the home and get his perspective on the Res, and the satisfaction of contributing to such a worthwhile project filled our hearts.”

-Tracy M., Boston MA, Zen Peacemaker Order

Simply Smiles has developed a comprehensive introduction process for the participants, and has been great to work with. Our connection with them is supported by our mutual friendship with Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a native of Cheyenne River, who has been instrumental in both the creation of Simply Smiles and the efforts of Zen Peacemakers in the Black Hills.

The construction sites are on the green hills of Cheyenne River reservation, around La Plant.

Roshi Genro Gauntt and Rami Efal will lead the program. Genro is a founding teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, and was among the leaders of the 2015 Black Hills Bearing Witness retreat. Rami Efal is the executive director of Zen Peacemakers, inc.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN AND ENDS JULY 1st BY THE CAMP’S REQUEST  – REGISTER SOON!

email [email protected] for additional questions and information

 

WEEK #1 PROGRAM FEE

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Program Fee :  $1250 

Or Send checks to Zen Peacemakers ATTN: NATIVE2017 POBOX 294 Montague MA 01351 USA

$750 of your registration cost will be paid directly to Simply Smiles to cover construction expenses, camp administration and lodging, transportation from airport, food and ground maintenance for the week. Payment to Simply Smiles must go through Zen Peacemakers and cannot be made by an individual to the camp.

$500 of your registration will support:

  1. Zen Peacemakers administration & coordination of the program and participants
  2. Banking fees and planning costs.
  3. Group activity costs like art supplies and service tips.
  4. Air travel for the Zen Peacemakers program leaders.
  5. Developing Zen Peacemakers’s ongoing work with the Lakota.

TRAVEL EXPENSES NOT INCLUDED: All participants are responsible to cover their own travel to Rapid City Airport, and/or if lodging before or after the week of service. The program fee does include a shuttle from and back to the airport before and after the service-week. In case you miss the shuttle you will have to arrange your own transportation. We gather and leave as one group.

FUNDRAISING: Zen Peacemakers encourages everyone to help the joint effort by fund-raising for their participation, and through this, to raise awareness & spread the word about the life and challenges of the Lakota.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Scholarship funds may be available. Please inquire at [email protected]

CANCELLATION POLICY: Strict – After April 1st 2017 there is no refund possible, as Simply Smiles must secure the construction expenses. Before April 1st there is a $250 cancellation fee (of which $187 is the Simply Smiles cancellation fee)

REGISTRATION IS OPEN AND ENDS JULY 1st BY THE CAMP’S REQUEST  – REGISTER SOON!

REGISTRATION

(1) Follow this link to fill out the registration form

(2) Complete your payment in the tab WEEK #1 PROGRAM FEE above, or by using the link at the top of the page.

Registration is complete after (a) completing the registration form above, (b) your payment is received, and (c) you receive your confirmation from Zen Peacemakers.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Scholarship funds may be available. Please inquire at [email protected]

REGISTRATION IS OPEN AND ENDS JULY 1st BY THE CAMPS REQUEST  – REGISTER SOON!

 

 

ARRIVAL

To be picked up by a van and transported to camp, arrive at the Rapid City Airport before 2 PM on Saturday, 8/5.

DEPARTURE

All should leave from the Simply Smiles camp by 9 am on Saturday, 8/12. A van will take you to Rapid City Airport that morning. If you make a flight reservation, please make them for *after* 12 pm, noon, on Saturday the 12th.

 

DAILY SCHEDULE

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Morning

  • Morning Program for Zen Peacemakers: group meditation, council practice
  • Breakfast @ camp
  • Work : Construction on site (or) gardening at the organic garden @ camp

Afternoon

  • Lunch @ camp
  • Community time : playing with children, swimming in nearby Missouri river, ice cream, art, sports (basketball, soccer, horseshoes, archery courts @ camp)

Evening

  • Dinner
  • Evening Program for Zen Peacemakers: group meditation, council practice
  • Accommodations: Camping

ETIQUETTE & PROTOCOL

Please read these requests from our Lakota hosts: 

• Absolutely no use of alcoholic beverages or drugs.  Cigarette smoking is not prohibited, but be aware that tobacco is sacred to the Lakota, so be mindful of how you use it (don’t litter). 

• Always watch out for children and drive cautiously. Our native communities are slow-paced in comparison to cities, and it is not unusual to find children playing near or on the roads.

• Obey all laws and regulations.

• Do not disturb sites that contain devotions or offerings. These include pipes, bundles, ties, flags of colored material, food offerings as well as other items. These sites are considered sacred and desecration will be taken very seriously.

• Do not go where you do not have permission to go. Our remaining territory is sacred to us. Many tribal peoples will not tolerate trespassing.

• Be respectful in asking questions of an individual – especially a tribal elder. Do not assume your questions will be answered, especially if they pertain to our Sacred Ceremonies.

• Be respectful and ask to take a photo before a photo is taken.

• Please tread lightly when it comes to religion. A controversial history with “missionaries” is still a part of the Lakota consciousness. As such, we ask that you do not bring or wear any piece of clothing that says “mission/ missionary”

• During an event like a Pow Wow, the MC will inform the people if photos and recording will be allowed or not. There are many things that can be learned about our Lakota Culture when you sit, listen and observe.

MORE TESTIMONIALS

“There’s something about the way the land meets the sky, how the Missouri River flows down stream, the kids’ smiles during camp, the tears and chuckles of the elders that assure you that you’re exactly where you need to be at that very moment… You’ll be amazed how your life can change in just seven short days.” — Charlotte Pecquex, Reservation Experience Volunteer, Norwalk, CT

“…an exceptionally well run organization. Our week on ‘the Rez’ was perspective-altering, heart-expanding, challenging, and fun.” — Reverend Andrew Nagy-Benson, Reservation Experience Volunteer, Middlebury, VT

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INFORMATION SESSION

Watch the 1st Information Session, which took place on Thursday January 19th 11am EST

Another information session, with a representative of Simply Smiles and Zen Peacemakers, will be schedule in March to answer questions about the program. If you are interested in attending one of the sessions, please register to retreat above and you will receive notified when the next session is scheduled.

SUPPORT OTHERS WITH SCHOLARSHIP DONATIONS

 

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WHAT TO BRING

We will camp on the site of Simply Smiles camp. Bathroom and showers will be provided. Please pack everything in one duffle bag with no wheels. Read the list carefully- each participant should bring:

  • your identification, and any other necessary travel forms
  • your medical insurance card(s)
  • ATM, credit cards
  • list of emergency contact phone numbers and emails
  • a Nalgene-type water bottle with your name on it
  • Pepto-Bismol, Tylenol, Dramamine (if you get car sick)
  • your personal medications, in their original bottles, with significant quantity for the trip (it is required to disclose on your release forms what medications you will be taking during your week)
  • sunglasses
  • headlamp-type flashlight with extra batteries
  • camera with extra batteries and memory cards
  • waterless hand sanitizer (Purell)
  • work gloves
  • sunscreen, sun hat, bandana, aloe
  • bath towel
  • glasses, contact lenses, solution
  • earplugs (many people like to have earplugs for sleeping)
  • biodegradable soap and shampoo
  • bug spray and after-bite medications (like a cortisone cream)
  • sneakers and/or light work boots – closed-toed shoes are mandatory for construction work
  • sandals (Teva, Keen, or Chaco type is suggested; flip flops are not allowed)
  • pack enough clothing for the week – you will not have the opportunity to do laundry. Bring clothes that you won’t mind ruining! Please dress conservatively- shorts should reach mid-thigh, no low-cut shirts
    • clothes for the heat – shorts and t-shirts; moisture wicking fabric is good for the humidity
    • clothes for the cold if necessary- check the weather report!
    • sweatshirt
    • a very light pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt in case the bugs are bad
    • rain coat – breathable fabric is best, but definitely waterproof
    • one piece bathing suit
    • mud boots – these are not required but very helpful in the spring mud season
    • clean clothes for the plane (we suggest you pack all of your clothes in zip-lock type bags)
  • sleeping pad – should not be wider than 30’’ – please keep in mind we have to pack up all our sleeping supplies every morning. We do not have room for large blow up mattresses.
  • light sleeping bag
  • set of twin sheets and a small pillow
  • remember to pack anything you can’t live without in your carry-on bag
  • head-lamp flashlight
  • under 18 years old? No cell phones are allowed.  Adults, we strongly encourage you to either not bring their phones or to keep them stored for the week.
  • food and eating utensils will be provided. Please do not bring any valuables

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: I anticipate renting a car for the two weeks. Do you anticipate any logistical problems with this? A: No, that’s fine.

Q: Will we be permitted to camp on site at Simply Smiles? A: Because this year the Zen Peacemakers will be part of a Simply Smiles trip, we will ask that all the volunteers sleep together inside our locked building. Safety is the first priority in all we do with Simply Smiles and our volunteer experience, and it is simply more safe to be inside our locked building throughout the night. Thank you for understanding.

Q: After the Week of Service, when do we leave and when is our last meal?

A: We will leave in the Simply Smiles bus between 7-9 AM to get the volunteers back to the airport in time for their flight. We ask that everyone arrive at the Rapid City Airport before 2 PM on Saturday, August 5th, and if they are flying out, depart after 12 Noon on Saturday the 12th. We ask everyone to depart the community center by 9 AM on Saturday the 12th so that the staff has enough time and space to clean everything up, and get ready for the next incoming group. Our last full meal will be Friday evening’s dinner, and then we will have granola bars for Saturday morning.

Q: Can non-participants drop in to visit the camp during any time of the day (i.e. community afternoons etc.)?

A: If an individual is passing through South Dakota, then yes they can stop by for a few hours during camp one day. Attendance beyond that extent will require registration and payment for the week, on account of both ZP’s and Simply Smiles’ insurance and liability policy.

Q: Where will we take showers?

A: We will have access to showers twice a week up at the school across the street. We will also go to the river once during our stay, but not to bathe.  

Join the Zen Peacemakers in bearing witness to the Lakota land, sacred sites, people, and wildlife. In a similar plunge last year, we visited Simply Smiles, Cheyenne River Youth Center, International Society for the Protection of Mustangs & Burros, and the community of Badger, and met Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th keeper of the White Calf Woman sacred pipe. (Read here a complete summary of 2016 plunge). 2017’s program will unfold with a similar intention, based on Not Knowing, Bearing Witness and Taking Action. It is in development and may or may not extended to Standing Rock camp as appropriate and as needed.

The week will be led by Roshi Genro Gauntt and Roshi Eve Myonen Marko of the Zen Peacemakers, and Violet Catches  of Pine Ridge Reservation.  Genro & Eve were among the leaders of the 2015 Zen Peacemakers Native American Bearing Witness retreat, and have been among the leaders of the Zen Peacemakers Auschwitz-Birkenau Bearing Witness retreat for over twenty years.

Participants will care for their camping gear, food and transportation.

Closer to the retreat, group communication will be established online to allow planning and sharing of resources.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN AND ENDS AUGUST 1st 

REGISTRATION

There are only 25 openings for this week. Completing the registration form below does not guarantee reserving a place. Priority will be given to Week#1 attendees, and a waiting list will be maintained.

WEEK #2 PROGRAM FEE

Cost: $250 

The costs paid to this retreat cover the honorariums given directly to our Lakota leaders, their travel, and towards the administration of the retreat.

Participants will supply their own food and camping gear, and funds if they wish to stay in a motel.

Each participant is responsible for their own transportation arrangement, car pooling or car rental.

WEEK #2 CURRENT SUGGESTED ITINERARY

Our itinerary as it is now:  travel by cars north-west, stop along the way at sacred/monument sites, arrive at Little Bighorn MT, participate in ceremony, drive back down through Bear’s Lodge (aka Devil’s Tower). We will primarily be camping, but motel-style lodging will be found for those who require it. According to what calls the group, we follow; there will be opportunity to suggest activities and destinations, and decide together.

LODGING

Camping is the default lodging option, and we will have several hotel rooms available along the way for special needs (age, disability etc.) If you’d like to have or share a room, please let us know as # is limited. You will be responsible for your paying your bill.

ETIQUETTE & PROTOCOL

Please read these requests from our Lakota hosts: 

• Absolutely no use of alcoholic beverages or drugs.  Cigarette smoking is not prohibited, but be aware that tobacco is sacred to the Lakota, so be mindful of how you use it (don’t litter). 

• Always watch out for children and drive cautiously. Our native communities are slow-paced in comparison to cities, and it is not unusual to find children playing near or on the roads.

• Obey all laws and regulations.

• Do not disturb sites that contain devotions or offerings. These include pipes, bundles, ties, flags of colored material, food offerings as well as other items. These sites are considered sacred and desecration will be taken very seriously.

• Do not go where you do not have permission to go. Our remaining territory is sacred to us. Many tribal peoples will not tolerate trespassing.

• Be respectful in asking questions of an individual – especially a tribal elder. Do not assume your questions will be answered, especially if they pertain to our Sacred Ceremonies.

• Be respectful and ask to take a photo before a photo is taken.

• Please tread lightly when it comes to religion. A controversial history with “missionaries” is still a part of the Lakota consciousness. As such, we ask that you do not bring or wear any piece of clothing that says “mission/ missionary”

• During an event like a Pow Wow, the MC will inform the people if photos and recording will be allowed or not. There are many things that can be learned about our Lakota Culture when you sit, listen and observe.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: May I bring children? I am bodily-challenged, would this retreat work for me?

A: The ruggedness of the trip will vary.  In case participants can’t attend a certain part, we will offer alternatives.

Q: Will I need a car? A: A car will be needed in order to travel from site to site. You can either rent one for yourself, or partner with another (or others) who will rent one. As the retreat draws near, we will invite all participants into a dedicated Facebook page so that people can connect with each other and address specific logistical questions regarding transportation and other issues.

Q: When should we plan to depart?

A: We will complete our program on 8/18 Friday ​late ​afternoon, most probably in the vicinity of Rapid City. I encourage all to schedule a flight back on anytime on 8/19 ​Saturday​ to enjoy the last full day of the retreat​.

WHAT TO BRING

  • camping gear
  • eating utensils
  • sleeping gear

SUPPORT THIS PLUNGE

Donate to Zen Peacemakers’ ongoing efforts with our Lakota hosts:

Whether or not you register to attend either of these programs, please consider donating to Zen Peacemakers’ ongoing efforts with our Lakota hosts.


CONTACT: For any questions, please email [email protected] or call (INT+1) 413.404.8238

These programs have been made possible by the generous donation of Guarilla Yoga Bern and Peacemaker Gemeinschaft Schweiz in Switzerland.