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A group of six, two of them fifteen year-old youth, from Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston, Kansas arrived as part of the Summer Youth Program to help repair houses on the Red Lake Reservation.

Monday morning the group headed out on the service projects. After they completed the work at Victoria’s house #3 and at Delwyn’s house #4, they moved on to Polly’s house #5 and to Jessica’s house #6. There were plenty of learning opportunities this week! Cutting trim for gable ends is a fun challenge. At Polly’s house, they removed the old siding, put up housewrap, painted the window frame and siding, as well as the trim. They took care as they trimmed around electrical boxes, when installing the siding. They were busy at Jessica’s house, too. They followed the same pattern, ripping off old siding, putting on housewrap and putting up new siding. They also installed windows at Jessica’s house.

In the evenings, the group enjoyed playing games, including bean bag toss. One evening, on a whim, they, along with some of us long-termers, drove to the Red Lake beach and waded in the lake. On the way back to the center, we drove past the local landfill, where we sighted a large bear!

Wednesday evening, Charles, maintenance technician from the Oshki Center, joined us for our evening meal. He shared his experiences as part of the Red Lake Nation and answered our questions about life on the reservation.

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