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Native Names

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Hey, Camp Kids!

Happy Native American Day! At Keystone Camp, you’re an Apache, Cherokee, Shawnee, or Seminole. At Camp Ton-A-Wandah (which means ‘by the fall of water’), they split their campers into three tribes: the Cherokee, Navajo, and Mohawk tribes. Camp Netimus itself is named after an 18 century Indian chief of Delaware. So why do summer camps use so many Native names?

Camps are making a tribute and a desire to emulate the Natives. After all, they were the first campers! They camped before camping was called camping. Back then it was just how they lived, roughin’ it and living off the land—all day, every day! There are millions of Native American names that refer to animals, natural elements, tribes, and much more.

So why were there so many names used by the Native Americans?

Well, first of all, the term ‘Native Americans’ is a blanket term that covers an incredibly diverse cultures.

It can’t be stressed enough how broad of a term it is, especially because the Natives of different tribes all had different languages, customs, and beliefs among themselves. A slew of tribes and varieties among them spawned many different names.

The Natives were spread out across the entire North and South American continents. They lived in small, spread-out ‘neighborhoods’ that were more like separate nations. Every tribe had its unique languages, traditions, histories, politics, economies, religions, and overall ways of life. Of course, there were similarities among the people as well, but generally speaking, each tribe was a unique fellowship of families.

To Natives all across the land, Everything Summer Camp salutes you and all your names. All with summer camps across the country, we honor you. Check out our Native American Day Blog post from a few years back by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading.

- John


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