This summer, participants in the Oneida Indian Nation’s Youth Work/Learn Crew were able to participate in a variety of engaging activities and events. Projects to help maintain various Nation properties included painting the picnic tables and clearing debris at Peaceful Pines ahead of the Member Picnic in July, clearing weeds and other debris from the water around the docks at Snug Harbor, landscape work near the Elders gazebo at the C & E Center, and helping to clean up recyclable materials from the Warrior Archery location in Sherrill. Field trips included a stop at Nichols Pond with cadets from Fort Drum and kids from the ELC, and a visit to Shako:wi Cultural Center, among others.

The Crew also was able to visit the Simpson archeological dig site – a contemporary to Nichols Pond – to search for indications of Oneida occupation of the site generations ago. The group used shovels to clear the topsoil and screens to sift and look for artifacts. They used trowels to clear off the bottom of the test unit to look for items as well. They found rocks that had been used around hearths, ceramic sherds and tools made from chert – a small rock resembling flint.

Participants in the Crew this year included Jaylyn Aregano (Turtle Clan), Beleza Gibson (Wolf Clan), Kalʌ:na Dockstader, Lyanna Halsey and Meadow Liddiard.

Older kids in the Youth Work/Learn program took on jobs in the Turning Stone Golf Department. Among their many responsibilities were assisting guests with loading and unloading their clubs, washing the golf carts at the end of the day, retrieving practice balls at the range and golf dome, and helping rangers get guests started on time.

Josh Frederick (Turtle Clan) was happy to work at the golf courses for the first time this year. Cousins Ashley and Isabella Scott were also first-timers at the golf department. Ashley said the job helped her develop her social skills.

“It was fun,” Ashley said. “Just helping out and making sure guests are satisfied. It’s great to be outside and help the other starters.”

They are looking forward to going back again next summer.

Thank you to all the participants in this summer’s Youth Work/Learn program. For more information on the Oneida Indian Nation’s youth programs, call Donald Gaines (Wolf Clan) at 315-829-8217 or email