The Salvation Army of Weld County recently received the Josephine Miles Award for “Discovering Michener’s Colorado,” a summer history camp for at-risk youth. Developed in cooperation with the History Department at the University of Northern Colorado, the camp focused on local and state history, and the development of community.
Recognizing the need for adolescents to have a chance to explore local history, Lt. Kevin Jackson, commanding officer of the Greeley Corps, developed the idea for the camp. Jackson studied history at Arizona State University and is currently finishing a master’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado.
Joni Motoshige, a graduate student in history, developed the curriculum through a graduate internship with Dr. Michael Welsh of the History Department. “History is part of the story of our lives,” Welsh said. “It is how we make sense of who we are and where we are going.”
Several area residents were guest speakers, and spoke about the community and their lives in Weld County. Among them were Harold Winograd, a longtime Greeley resident and businessman. He talked to the children about growing up in Greeley during the 1920s. Dennis Hoshiko, a well-known local agricultural businessman, discussed the importance of agriculture and the environment to the Weld County community and led a tour of the county irrigation system.
In addition, the children actually “did history.” They wrote histories of their families and examined the development of Greeley through its buildings and architecture.
Last year the camp was a pilot program. Its success has led to expansion from two sessions to four for 1999.