Notes from the Road

Freshman Trip: Montana

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Today the freshmen packed up camp before heading to the airport to return back to Michigan!

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Today the group spent Shabbat at their base camp in Luccock. They had havdalah at their camp before spending their last night in Montana.

Friday, May 31, 2024

This morning our freshmen ventured to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, the first large canyon on the Yellowstone River downstream from Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. They experienced the wonder and awe of the canyon before heading to do the South Rim hike to Artist Point. There they saw spectacular views of the canyon and the lower falls. After a day of hiking, our 9th graders returned to their base camp to prepare for a meaningful Shabbat in the backcountry.

On Friday we drove to the Yellowstone Canyon. We hiked in the snowy mountains. The views were spectacular and the air felt so fresh and clean. On the way back to the camp we ran across 2 black bear cubs climbing in a tree. It was so cool to see bears in their natural habitat. The night ended with a gorgeous sunset over the mountains and a nice Shabbat dinner, bringing everyone together.  - Jenna V. '27

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The group headed to Yellowstone National Park this morning! They started their day by hiking and site-seeing at the North Geyser Basin. The 9th Graders then witnessed the awe-inspring Old Faithful before heading to Yellowstone Lake. They returned to Luccock to eat dinner and spend the night.

Seeing the geysers was one of the best things I have ever experienced. From walking all around and seeing all of the mini pools and how the sulfur affected the wood  that we were walking on, the whole park was amazing. - Shoshana P. '27

Today we went to Yellowstone, which started off at the arch and the gift shop! then we drove farther and hiked. It was so cool to see all the sites and the geysers. We also drove to Old Faithful and went shopping some more. We saw lots of wildlife and many cool nature spots. - Kaiya J. '27

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Freshmen started their day by packing up camp and breaking down their tents. They then had a meaningful visit to the Tribal Council offices. From there, the group headed to Chief Dull Knife College where they took a tour and attended a beading workshop! The 9th graders headed to their new location of Luccock Park Camp, Livingston, MT, where they had dinner and a campfire.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Freshmen started their day with a cultural hike at Deer Medicine Rock. They then spent the day participating in an ethnobotany program at Crazy Head Springs. The program took most of the day so once they finished they returned to Lame Deer High School for dinner, a campfire and a journaling session before going off to sleep in their tipis.

Today (Tuesday) we started the morning by going to Deer Medicine Rock, where we learned about the Sundance and rituals that the tribe would do before and during their gatherings. We were able to see some of the chiefs carvings on to the rocks and learned about the history of them. Then we came back to the camp and started building tipis. One of the tribe members showed us how to build it but when we tried it on our own. We learned it is not very easy. - Kobi S. '27

Monday, May 27, 2024

Today the Freshmen learned about tipis and how to build them from their guide Burt Medicine Bull, before building tipis themselves! Afterwards, the students participated in a traditional sweat lodge experience at Chief Dull Knife College. They then returned to Lame Deer High School for dinner, a campfire and a journaling session before going off to spend the night in the tipis they built earlier in the day.


Today’s experience going to the sweat lodge was amazing. We were able to witness and perform the Cheyennes rituals and practices. In the first round, we "purified ourselves by sweating away the toxins and badness within us." Then there was a second round of sweating to bring good fortune. This once in a lifetime expirence was meaningful for me and my classmates to partake in. Another saying we learned today was that the Cheyennes never say "bye" instead they say “see you again”. These words show that they are never alone. - Olivia K. '27


Today, the Cheyenne’s invited us to their house where they had a sweat lodge. I would say most of us were scared for this experience but I am so glad that I didn’t back out. In the sweat lodge, we had a meaningful conversation where the leaders shared with us that they used to not be able to lead this experience. They had to have a special law passed just to preform the rituals of their tribe. This really stuck with me especially relating it to the rise of Antisemitism since the attack on October 7. Jewish people and Israelis cannot preform religious acts as freely and safely. In the sweat lodge not only did I feel a special connection to the Cheyenne tribe because of these similarities but I felt very welcome, as they have been through similar experiences. I feel that it is very important that we learn about others traditions and share our own. - Gillian C. '27

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The 9th graders arrived in Montana today! Their first stop was the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument- where they learned about the clash of cultures in the battle between the warriors of the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes, and the men of the Regiment of the US Cavalry, along with their Crow, and Arikara scouts. Then they arrived at the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, where they had orientation and setup camp at Lame Deer High School. The students enjoyed a welcome dinner and a bonfire with drumming!

On Sunday when we landed after a long time of flying we landed. They sorted us into groups and we made our way to the battle of Little Bighorn site. Looking over the open fields of Montana was much different than Michigan and much more beautiful. -Parker E. '27

Our first day on the Montana trip was one to remember. We woke up very early so that we could take two lengthy flights and multiple van rides to our first destination, Lame Deer High School, in the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Our first landmark was the Little Big Horn memorial. It was very interesting to learn the real history of Custer’s memorable defeat, from a new perspective that we had never heard before. We returned to the campgrounds, pitched our tents, and spent some time together before going to sleep in our chilly tents. -Shyah L. '27