Brother's Keeper Club Raises Money for Indian Reservation Trip
The Barrington High School club travels to the Crow Creek Native American Reservation each June, which many describe as life changing.
Instead of going out to the movies or going to parties with friends on Saturday night, a group of about 35 Barrington High School students spent their time in the BHS gymnasium, getting to know each other and getting to know themselves.
The Brother’s Keeper Club of Barrington High School held its annual Walk-A-Thon Saturday, March 2. The purpose of the event is to raise money for the students to attend the group’s annual trip to visit the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Many describe the trip as an experience of a lifetime, and say they return home completely changed for the better.
“What I love to emphasize is that we’re not going there to help, we’re going there to learn and to understand so that we can keep building that communication bridge that was broken so many years ago,” Madeleine Lebovic, club member said.
Club members ask family and friends to pledge money for the Walk-A-Thon so that they are able to attend the June trip with their classmates. During the fundraiser, students stay in the gymnasium from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. participating in Native American games and activities that challenge them psychologically and force them to open up to each other.
The Walk-A-Thon has a deeper meaning as well, explains High School Counselor and club moderator Ray Piagentini.
“We facilitate this event in memory of the 26 mile walk the Lakota/Dakota people experienced years ago where almost all those who walked in sub-zero weather died,” he said.
Club newcomer Elli Ackerman said she joined Brother’s Keeper because of the positive experiences friends have shared from being involved.
“Friends have told me different things about how they learned about the [Native American] culture, and I think you can’t fully understand someone else’s culture unless you’ve been fully immersed in it,” Ackerman said. “I like to think it’s a learning experience.”
Ackerman said she looks forward to getting to know other club members and attending the trip scheduled for June 23-30.