Founded by teachers, Camp Thunderbird South Dakota is a growing, volunteer-led, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit summer camp that serves youth from the American Indian Reservations in south central South Dakota.
The youth of the reservation face many obstacles in their lives, some of those being:
- The unemployment rate on the Rosebud Indian Reservation is 85 percent.
- The life expectancy of Rosebud youth is approximately 11 years below the national average.
- In the Great Plains, the suicide rate among Indian youth is 10 times the national average.
- In South Dakota, only 66 percent of Indian students graduate from high school.
- In the U.S., students from poor households who do graduate from high school will have achieved, on average, at the level of eighth-graders from more affluent areas.
CTSD (Camp Thunderbird South Dakota) strives to address these challenges, hopefully being an agent of change, in respect to these statistics. CTSD does this through offering a week-long summer experience for the youth of the Rosebud reservation. Click here for information on CTSD’s summer camp.
The Thunderbird was chosen as the symbol and name of the organization because the Thunderbird is said to nest at the top of Harney Peak, a sacred site for the Lakota people in the Black Hills. In 2009, the campers summitted Harney Peak and the pride of their accomplishment that covered their faces, gave the camp its name.
For more information view our informal presentation.