Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By Michael Barrett

Group Workcamps in Red Lake II

Changing Lives


Talking over the siding placement.

A lot of homes, churches and community buildings on the Red Lake Indian Reservation will be repaired in some way or another in July 2011, and almost 1000 young people from all over the United States will help make that happen—all at their own expense.

They pay for the privilege to work.

With assistance and guidance from the Red Lake Housing Authority, some of the jobs they have done this month included repairs and painting of several churches on the reservation, repairs and painting of community centers, Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue, and residential homes in all four Red Lake Districts, including new decks and ramps and siding replacements.

And they “pay” for the privilege of working.

Group Workcamps are nothing new to the Red Lake area, having visited this area for at least the last 7 years. They come in chartered busses and vans and have been staying at the Red Lake Schools and St. Mary’s Mission. There are at least 200 young people and their adult supervisors on each weekly trip.

They have eight core missions on each Workcamp; Connecting with Jesus; servicing others; boosting confidence; being challenged; bonding together; having fun; impacting programs; and changing lives.

According to their website, Workcamp is a week-long home repair youth mission trip experience. and are basically a mission trip and a summer camp in one. Big, fun, high energy but meaningful and life-changing at the same time.

About to get another taste of my own medicine by their own Paparazzi again.

A typical camp starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. Their daily schedule starts at 6:45 AM and ends at 11 PM, with work schedules running from about 9 am. To 3:30 PM. And there isn’t much that stops or slows them down, including rain, extreme heat, mosquitos and other insects, and even bats and snakes coming out of a building.

But the work isn’t all they do, either. They meet and connect with one another, as well as the owners of the projects they work on, and are some of the most friendly, eager, respectful, bright and hard-working young people you will ever meet.

Group Workcamps have already made plans to return in 2012. Red Lake Housing will have forms and further information disseminated to the public about 3 months prior to their arrival. Any homeowner is eligible to apply during this time period.

To learn more about the organization, visit


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