Over 600 Oneida Indian Nation Members and their guests packed the Peaceful Pines campground for the 2018 Member Picnic on a toasty Sunday this past July. Attendees were treated to a number of door prize drawings. A 50” TV, a round of golf at Shenendoah or Kaluhyat, a day at the spa and much more were up for grabs. A bingo tent for adults was set up further in the back of the campground, and inflatable bounce houses and a petting zoo kept the kids entertained.

The unmistakable summertime barbeque smells filled the air throughout the afternoon. Burgers, sausages and hotdogs were all included in the clambake menu, and several different veggie salads complimented everything perfectly. After lunch, or dinner, many hopped over to the pool to keep cool on the hot and humid day.

Earlier in the afternoon, Chris Thomas and Wes Halsey (Wolf Clan) led several social dances on a makeshift stage in the shade of the tall pine trees. They started with some simple steps to get more people involved, but finished with a flurry of more advanced moves to showcase the experienced dancers.

The annual Member Picnic is a great opportunity for the Oneida community to come together. Several Members were there with their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. It’s one of the events the Nation puts on that brings together all generations.

Jeremy McCann (Turtle Clan) travelled from Baltimore to attend the picnic with his wife, Brittany Jock (Mohawk).

“I only get to visit two or three times a year so it’s great to be here,” he said. The two also participated in many of the social dances, later joined by his mother, Melissa McCann (Turtle Clan).

The picnic is also a celebration of the success of the Nation. Council Members showed their appreciation by giving out free gifts to Members, which were personalized with an engraved depiction of each Member’s clan.