S.L.A.M. Trips to offer GNW Area youth an opportunity to learn about native culture and perspectives 

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Youth (grades 7-12) and their leaders from the Greater Northwest conferences – Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest – are invited to come together for a unique opportunity to get to know one another as they learn about and serve the Yakama community July 16-21 for a S.L.A.M. Trip on the Yakama Nation reservation in Wapato, Washington.

Mending Wings, the largest faith-based native youth ministry in the country, will host this trip with native staff who will offer orientation to native culture and give an indigenous perspective on missions and Christianity. S.L.A.M. is an acronym for Students Learning About Mission. As youth and their leaders go to the reservation, it is an opportunity to go with a mindset of openness to learning as they serve.

During the S.L.A.M. Trips week, cultural activities will include a native craft taught by a local artisan, a drum circle and traditional dance by members of Mending Wings, and a traditional salmon bake. Historical and cultural site visits include the Yakama Tribal Museum, a longhouse, and Fort Simcoe (the site of an Indian Agency boarding school). 

Examples of service projects of past years include:

  • Building wheelchair ramps for the elderly.
  • Pulling the brush in yards for the fire safety of elders.
  • Removing carpets in an elder’s home to prepare for new flooring.
  • Helping to clean around longhouses where elders go to worship Creator.

Each church sending students should supply at least one adult leader/chaperone; there must be a total ratio of 1 adult for every six students. Sixty slots are available for the July 16-21 S.L.A.M. Trip. Spaces will be reserved for each of the three conferences until April 20, after which time slots will open on a first-come, first-serve basis. The cost is $450, all-inclusive for the time on the reservation, with scholarship money available for all participants from UMVIM. The trip is also sponsored by The Greater Northwest Episcopal Area as part of its anti-racist focus.

To save your spot or ask questions, contact your conference contact person: Teri Tobey in the PNW and Drew Hogan in OR-ID and Rev. Lisa Talbott in Alaska. Detailed information on S.L.A.M. Trips and Mending Wings can be found at slamtrips.com and mendingwings.net.

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