- Saturday | June 4, 2016 to Sunday | June 12, 2016
- La Plant, South Dakota
Plymouth’s Youth Volunteer Trip 2016
The Plymouth Youth Group will travel to the town of La Plant, South Dakota June 4 – 12, 2016. We partner with an organization called Simply Smiles and our week will be spent on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation (CRST). We are traveling to serve the struggling population living on the Reservation and the conditions we will encounter are similar to those found in developing nations.
The CRST Reservation stretches across two U.S. counties, though it is actually an autonomous country within the borders of the U.S. The average household income in Ziebach County and Dewey County is $20,000 less than the average income in the United States. These are two of the poorest counties in the country.
Simply Smiles is dedicated to providing bright futures for impoverished children, their families and their communities. Each morning our volunteer team will focus on construction and home repair. Each afternoon we will have the opportunity to lead a summer camp for children living on the Reservation. We will also participate in Simply Smiles’ healthy living initiatives which include newly constructed community gardens.
As the founder of Simply Smiles puts it: “The needs of the Reservation are staggering. The cause of these needs equally so. But we must draw a line, and start from this new point. We must base our opinions of people and of situations only from personal interactions with them. A persistent problem can often only be solved when looked upon from a fresh angle. Everyone deserves a clean slate in someone’s eyes. And we need to see and to use the good in everyone to have any chance at success, to have any chance for change.” Lives are changing on the Reservation and our lives, through this experience, will change too!
On the Cheyenne River Reservation, we will also have the unique opportunity to learn about and experience the beautiful Lakota culture firsthand. During our week on the Reservation, we will have the chance to listen to a Lakota drumming ceremony, meet artisans who craft stunning jewelry and dream catchers, hear stories that have been passed down for generations, or witness a powwow with traditional dancing. The stories of the Lakota people’s past and present struggles will challenge our preconceptions and force us to rethink our nation’s history.