Judaculla Week

Students from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians gather at Judaculla Camp. From left (front) McKenna Smith-Sneed, Nola Pina, Rose Reyes, Makala McGaha, Phoebe Rattler and Eeyannah Catolster; (back) Brittany Beck, Cadence Long, Connor McCoy, Kayman Feagnan, Dante Davis, Rhyan Girty, Kaelin Jones, Cameron Nelson and Malaki Littlejohn.

Fifteen high school student members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians experienced college life firsthand at the second annual Judaculla Camp, held June 17-21 at Western Carolina University.

WCU’s Cherokee Center and the tribal education Summer Youth Program partner to offer the camp, which exposes the students to educational opportunities and involves them in activities such as archaeological digs, scavenger hunts, natural art projects, climbing on the university’s indoor wall and rafting.

“The camp also exposes these students to workshops on bringing your identity to college, networking with both current students and alumni, learning about and owning the history of campus, Cherokee language and our health connection at WCU in nursing, biomechanics and Native health,” said Sky Sampson, director of the Cherokee Center.

The students stayed overnight in residence hall rooms, dined on campus with their own Catcards and learned about activities that are available to college students, she said.

For more information about Judaculla Camp, contact Sampson at snsampson@wcu.edu or 497-7920.