CRYP has been active in the community for more than 30 years, which means we’re well into our second generation of kids. The thrill of welcoming our community’s younger children hasn’t worn off, however; we’re always delighted when they find us.
Blue White Horse, 11, learned about The Main through his older brothers and sister. Because they are now teenagers, they attend programs at Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life); so Blue decided to head next door to check out The Main, our youth center for 4- to 12-year-olds.
Blue has been coming to The Main for about a year now. For him, the biggest draws are the always-changing daily activities, and the “open gym” hours at Cokata Wiconi.
“I like all the activities at The Main, and hanging out in the teen center’s gym,” he says. “It’s fun to go over there for free play.”
He’s learning some valuable lessons at the youth center, as well.
“I try not to mess around too much, and to follow the rules,” he explains. “They keep me on track.”
As it turns out, not only do staffers Kirsten and Natalia keep him on track, they also rely on him as a helper and as a positive role model for the smaller children.
“He’s one of the older boys, and he comes with three younger brothers,” says Jerica Widow, CRYP’s youth programs director. “He watches over them when they get too hyper or try to sneak around the rules, so that’s helpful to our youth programs assistants and volunteers. We’re proud of him, and I think he’s proud, too.”
Blue says he is looking forward to turning 13 so he can start attending regular programs at Cokata Wiconi—and be able to play games with the older kids. But this 11-year-old has his sights set even farther in the distance.
“I want to be a cop for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe,” he says. “I also want to travel to Nebraska to visit my uncle. After that, I want to go all over.”