August 23, 2012
Raft trip brought families into a Circle of Trust
By Lailani Upham
Paddle rafters with the CSKT Tribal Social Services Family Raft Trip prepare to hit the “hole” at the Buffalo rapids, the last excitement of the 8 mile trip on the Flathead River. (Courtesy photo)
POLSON — Over 50 folks from eight years-old to retirement age, turned out for the Family Rafting Trip hosted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe’s Tribal Social Services Department last Friday.
The purpose of the trip was to bring families together to mingle, meet and draw closer connections with one another says Jason Heavyrunner, CSKT Circle of Trust Youth Activities Coordinator.
“The Flathead Rafting Company trip was a huge success. All the parents shared a special and great time with their children,” stated Heavyrunner.
Not only did the participants of the program enjoy the day but it was noticeable the guides enjoyed the overload of Native rafters laughing and falling around in the river through the 8-mile float and toss.
“So many smiles and laughter throughout the day, it was great! I was very pleased that so many individuals were able to participate with this family building event. It was great that children got to participate and create positive, fun and memorable relationships with parents, family and providers,” added Heavyrunner.
Families enjoy a cook out and short stories from Jerry Brown on the history of the Flathead River. Brown shares with youngsters what it was like when he was their age, “We didn’t have television or games – the river was our entertainment,” he shared. (Lailani Upham photo)
The trip was a collaboration of programs in the CSKT Tribal Social Services Department says Heavyrunner.
Micheleanne Stasso, CSKT Tribal Social Services staff said the family day cookout and trip has been bringing laughs and a great family time for the last four years.
“Second Circle Lodge residents put in help where they could and it was much appreciated. Thanks to Dave McClure and his family for helping unload after the event, especially after a long day in the sun,” Heavyrunner expressed.
From noon to 6:30 pm the families and staff ate, drank (pop and water) and was gleefully merry from lawn, to bus, to raft, back to bus. On the roll back into town the participants gave a shout out and applause to Jason for a wonderful day.
Heavyrunner handed over the appreciation for a positive family day to TSSD co-workers, “A special thank you to TSSD staff for making the event the success it was. Jon and Angela Denton, Darnell Auld, Second Circle Lodge, Jaspen Webster, Rebecca Ereaux, Jeff Brown, and Jerry Brown.
“I would gladly organize this trip again, next year,” Heavyrunner added.