Just the FAQ's: A Non-Exhaustive List of Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does it cost?

The program fee is $850, and this amount covers airfare, room/board, ground transportation, excursion fees, and office expenses. If you are taking the class while out there, please see additional tuition costs by clicking here.

2. How do I afford to go if I am not made of money?

The program fee and tuition cost can add up to quite a bit of money, but there are several ways to defray the costs. First, many churches and community organization sponsor people to take trips just like this one. They just need to be asked for the money! Secondly, many people cut down their costs by sending letters out to friends, family, and local businesses describing their plans and financial requests. The key is to actively pursue support! It's out there! However, even if you cannot raise all the money you need through request letters and fundraising, it is important to remember that such a unique experience is priceless!

3. Is there a schedule that we will follow?

Yes, there is. In general, class occurs in the morning, and the volunteer opportunities are utilized in the afternoons. At various other times, other experiences will also be available. For a more detailed look at a tentative itinerary, click here.

4. What should I bring?

5. What do I do about parking at MU while I am on the trip?

Contact the University Police to pick up your Temporary Parking Permit. Park your car in the upper Landes Hall Parking lot. Then contact Carolyn Rittenhouse with your license plate number.

6. Since we may work in Social Service settings, Do I need any special clearances?

Not necessarily, but you may want to. Contact Carolyn Rittenhouse for specific information, but you may need PA's child clearance check to be done. If you have already been cleared for the state of PA, please let Carolyn know as soon as possible. This will help to determine your volunteer location assignment.

7. Do I need spending money?

Room and board is covered in the program fees; however, you may want to buy souvenirs, snacks, etc. during our excursions. We suggest you bring $50-$100 in cash, traveler's checks, or a Visa debit card.

8. Should I bring gifts?

If you'd like to bring a small gift as a token of thanks and friendship, you may bring bracelets, hair bands, stationary, key chains, small toys, picture frames, flash cards, caps, t-shirts, etc.

9. I'm young and growing ... what will we eat?

Everyone participates with morning meals and sometimes an evening meal. A grocery list is put together with each dorm room (3-4 people) in charge of cooking and clean-up for an assigned day while at the Cheyenne Eagle Butte Dorms. Most evenings, a Lakota family will host a traditional Lakota dinner at their home. A traditional meal consists of buffalo meat, rice or potatoes, Bapa soup, Wasna, Wojapi, frybread & Ceyaka (mint tea).

10. What if I need to cancel?

Should you need to cancel, your program fees will be refunded except for $400 to cover non-refundable transportation costs.

11. How do I sign up?

Click here for more information.

12. Are orientation meetings planned & should I attend?

Yes! All participants are required to attend orientation sessions held on campus. You will be introduced to Lakota history and culture by presentations give by program staff and often guest speakers. This time also allows you to freely ask questions about the culture and what to expect during the experience.

13. If I cannot attend this year, how can I help?

You can begin saving now for next summer. One student who returned for a second year as a volunteer only saved all her tips as a server for one year and paid in cash! If you find that you are unable to attend at all, we have several fundraising activities for the program throughout the year where volunteers are needed. You may want to pitch the program to a club on campus and have your own fundraising event. These funds could be used for shipping costs to mail donated clothing, books & toys and/or can be sent to a women and children's shelter on the reservation, etc