2017 Zen Peacemakers Native American Summer Programs



JOIN THE ZEN PEACEMAKERS IN SERVING in CHEYENNE RIVER RESERVATION and BEARING WITNESS TO THE BLACK HILLS!

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 are honored to continue the deepening of relations with the Lakota following our 2015 Zen Peacemakers Native American Bearing Witness Retreat, the 2016 Cheyenne River Plunge, and Zen Peacemakers presence at Standing Rock in fall and winter 2016.

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

Spaces are limited & short registration period due to camp’s requirement. 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 support 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 to the participants, and have been a great ally 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 the creation of Simply Smiles as well as the Zen Peacemakers efforts 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 was among the leaders of the 2015 Black Hills Bearing Witness retreat, and led the plunge in Cheyenne River in 2016. Rami Efal is the executive director of Zen Peacemakers, inc.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN AND ENDS JULY 1st BY THE CAMPS 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 supply and service tips.
  4. Air travel for the Zen Peacemakers program leaders.
  5. Developing our ongoing work of Zen Peacemakers 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. A shuttle will be provided and included in fee from and to 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 and fundraise their participation and by that, 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]

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

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

REGISTRATION

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 and horseshoe archery courts @ camp)

Evening

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

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. Each participant must bring:

  • Summer clothes
  • Works clothes
  • Swimming suit
  • Hat and sun protection
  • Flashlight
  • Tent optional
  • Sleeping bag

Not needed: food and eating utensils will be provided.

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 determining factor 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 what 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 true 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 extant will require registration and payment for the week, on accounts of both ZP and Simply Smiles insurance and liability policy.

Q: What is used for electrical power ? Is solar power used ? Are there any straw bale houses ? A: There are very few trees and bushes on the Reservation, and South Dakota at large. It is the general landscape out there, mostly wide open prairie. I believe it has been like this for a very long time. The Lakota were forced onto this land that is now the Reservation because it is very difficult to grow anything in the hard soil. But one of our projects for this summer is to plant more trees and bushes that can grow there around the new homes that we have built, to protect them from the high winds. There are electric lines from a company that works on the Reservation, based right off the Reservation. Solar power is not used at this time. Through planning and making decisions with the community, we decided together against models of straw houses, and cabins with big solar panels, and chose the model of house we now build- with concrete walls, wood and pellet stoves, etc. On this page of our website is a short video about our new homes on the Reservation, and how we build them: http://www.simplysmiles.org/cheyenne-river-sioux-reservation/

Q: I noticed very few trees and bushes. Were they there at one time ? A: There are very few trees and bushes on the Reservation, and South Dakota at large. It is the general landscape out there, mostly wide open prairie. I believe it has been like this for a very long time. The Lakota were forced onto this land that is now the Reservation because it is very difficult to grow anything in the hard soil. But one of our projects for this summer is to plant more trees and bushes that can grow there around the new homes that we have built, to protect them from the high winds.

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, 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.

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

Participation in this week is limited to 20 individuals and priority will be given to those attending week#1.

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 BY THE CAMPS REQUEST  – REGISTER SOON!

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.

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

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. A possible horse-riding trip may not be best suited for young children or those of fragile body conditions. 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.

WHAT TO BRING

  • camping gear
  • eating utensils
  • sleeping gear

SUPPORT THIS PLUNGE

Donate towards Zen Peacemakers ongoing efforts with our Lakota allies like this one.

Whether you register to attend either of these programs, please consider donating towards Zen Peacemakers ongoing efforts with our Lakota allies like this one.


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