NativeVision Camp focuses on each child’s strengths


The next time Alexis Ball is out running and comes across a ditch, she’ll know what to do.

Special to the Times | Ray Landry
NativeVision campers attack the ball during the lacrosse clinic at Shiprock High School on June 29.

Before the NativeVision camp held last week, Ball steered away from anything that required her to use her muscles. Now, thanks to the camp, the 10-year-old Mesa Elementary School student said she has more confidence.

“After yesterday I felt really good about myself, because I never exercised like that, and I felt really confident,” Ball said. “If there’s a ditch somewhere, and I know how to jump hurdles, I can jump over that.”

Ball wasn’t much of an athlete before the camp, but after signing up for the track and field clinic at the camp, she left motived to be the best athlete she can be.

In the clinic she learned to jump hurdles, run distance races, and how to long jump.

But most importantly she learned what she was capable of.

“I feel good about myself, and want to continue to exercise and drink lots of water,” she said.

Ball was one of about 400 participants at the camp held June 28-20 at Shiprock High School.

The camp was a sports and life skills camp, where participants took part in sports clinics and workshops for free.

The camp is sponsored by Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and was in its 22nd year. It was also the fourth year it was held in Shiprock; the camp moves to different locations every year.

The camp attracted elementary to high school students and featured new campers and veteran campers from near and far.

Trent Nelson, 11, from Silver City, New Mexico, was in Shiprock spending the summer with family. His mother encouraged him to attend the camp and he was glad she did.

“My mom wanted me to come over here so I don’t just sit around and do nothing,” he said. “It’s fun and I made new friends.”

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Categories: Sports

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.