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Earth Connections Camp for Tribal Youth Connects STEM and Cultural Traditions

Story by Jeanette Shackelford, Youth Program State Lead. Photos by BLM Utah and the Bureau of Reclamation.

In June, Utah’s Earth Connections Camp welcomed about 45 American Indian youth for 2 full days of fun and learning in Salt Lake City. The day camp for American Indian youth emphasizes STEM and traditional cultural activities taught by tribal and agency experts. BLM-Utah is a founding partner along with the Utah State Board of Education, and has helped direct camp for the past five years.  

The students visited outdoor learning stations featuring hydrology, Utah Tribal history, dam engineering, ethnobotany, health and medical sciences, soils, and flute-playing. At Thanksgiving Point Institute, the youth built circuits that powered robots capable of coloring pictures, and even controlling computers.

This year, the BLM-Utah’s Associate State Director, Anita Bilbao, was the keynote speaker. In her address, Bilbao encouraged Earth Connections Campers to embrace their culture, never stop asking questions, and say yes to new experiences!

me after driving to barnes and noble to get a book for ap lit and then having to drive to another barnes and noble across the valley bc the first one didnt have it and then finding out that the second barnes and noble doesnt have it either bc every ap student in slc needs this book

we hav followers but nevr get asks yooo ! 

tell us abt urself we wanto make friands woop (gif frum 2012 4ever)

-b & s 

I appreciate my British friends apologies for what their country has done. I’m glad it’s not just EU citizens being deeply saddened.

BUT FOR YOU ALL BRITS IT’S LIKE ‘’OKAY WE’RE LEAVING LET’S MOVE ON’’.

I messaged Student Finance England today. I called my university today. Although our tuition fees will not increase (for students starting in 2016 or earlier) THEY COULDN’T TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS TO STUDENT LOANS. Yeah, we’re getting loans this 2016/2017 year BUT NO ONE KNOWS WHAT’S NEXT.

SO IT’S ME AND FEW OTHER EU STUDENTS LIVING HERE, BEING UNSURE WHETHER THEY WILL BE ABLE TO FINISH THEIR DEGREE OR NOT. Because it’s not like we have £9000 in our pockets or something you see.

AND THEN AFTER I FINISH MY UNI, IF I AM LUCKY ENOUGH, I WILL HAVE TO APPLY FOR A VISA. Read about getting a Creative Worker (for arts students) visa. You have to be famous, in short. 

SO MY FUTURE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS COUNTRY, COUNTRY OF DOCTOR WHO, SHERLOCK, TOM HIDDLESTON, BBC, WEST END, HAS RUINED MY FUTURE.

I have a reason to be angry. I have a reason to panic. 

Dear Taylor Swift...

I remember the first time I saw you on a small stage as a warm-up act. Just you and your guitar. My mom whispered to me… “She’s going to be huge.”

Flash forward to YEARS later. And of course, mom wasn’t wrong (Is she ever?). I grew up with you. You helped me through the hard times. And I am forever grateful to feel like I had you (your music) by my side.

I met your mom during the 1989 Tour in Detroit (pictured here).  What a magical night that was… Of course, I couldn’t rank it against any of your other tours because they were all magical for their own reasons. 

I am currently a medical student in SLC, UT. So, while I don’t have all the time in the world or the financial means to prove my utter fan love / loyalty to you, please know that it’s there.

My mom and I have found “Our Song” in “The Best Day,” and I can’t even tell you what it means to us and our relationship.

All this being said, it has been a dream of mine to make it to one of your Secret Sessions (with my mom, one of your other biggest fans). It would mean the ABSOLUTE FREAKING WORLD to get a chance to meet the person who has played such a big role in our lives.

Love you forever, @taylorswift <3

PS- Thanks for making me love cats & Grey’s Anatomy (the latter which is currently helping me survive med school).


xoxoxoxo