Fun Times Installing Playground Equipment on the Navajo Nation

Last week (Oct 2015), we made a fun trip to the Navajo Nation.  On Wednesday, we worked with Emmanuel Mission School located near the Sweetwater Chapter House in arid northeastern Arizona.  The school (K-12) had asked for assistance in making improvements to its playground  equipment.

Making Repairs to an Existing Swing Set at Mission School

Making Repairs to an Existing Swing Set at Mission School

Sweetwater is an isolated Navajo chapter.  The pavement runs out before you get to the chapter house and school.  October had been a very wet month and the roads were heavily rutted.

We were able to help with 3 small projects at the school:

  • moved a large swing set 8′ to get it away from a retaining wall;
  • made minor repairs to a 3-seat swing set; and
  • left off a small plastic slide (replacement for damaged metal one).

Student parents had showed to help with the repairs.  They all worked hard and the school provided lunch.  It was a fun and productive day.

Work Crew at the Mission School

Work Crew at the Mission School

The school has purchased a large playground set (assembly required) from an organization in New Jersey.  The school principal is heading east to pick it up in November.

The Swing Set--at the Mission School--that Was Moved Being Enjoyed

The Swing Set–at the Mission School–that Was Moved Being Enjoyed

On Thursday, we finished installation of a large swing set in Shiprock, New Mexico.  We added an eighth leg and installed the chains and seats.  Kids from AmeriCorp helped with the swing set work.

Finishing the Swing Set at Shiprock, New Mexico

Finishing the Swing Set at Shiprock, New Mexico

The Shiprock Chapter has a variety of used playground parts and equipment in its inventory.  We were able to develop a preliminary plan for future work.

On Friday after running a variety errands, we started the installation of a large slide in a small community across the road from St. Christopher’s Mission near Bluff, UT.  Previously, we had installed a swing set.  On the slide, we were assisted by one of the parents.

Kids Using the Rocket Slide Installed near Bluff, UT

Kids Using the Rocket Slide Installed near Bluff, UT

Navajo Kids Enjoying Their New Rocket Slide

Navajo Kids Enjoying Their New Rocket Slide

We finished the job on Saturday.  It was fun watching the kids use the slide and swing set.

Navajo Baby Enjoying Tire Swing Seat

Navajo Baby Enjoying Tire Swing Seat

Across the road at St. Christopher’s Mission, we installed a bumble bee swing seat designed for small children.

Bubble Bee Swing Seat installed at St. Christopher's Mission

Bumble Bee Swing Seat installed at St. Christopher’s Mission

Funding for these activities was provided by a Utah-based NGO:  Navajo Santa.  The bumble seat was made by a fabricator in Murray UT.

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This entry was posted in Navajoland, Playground, Social Justice, Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fun Times Installing Playground Equipment on the Navajo Nation

  1. curleykat says:

    Navajo Santa… Would that be Ken Maryboy? He does so much for his people. Thanks for your help on the Navajo Nation. I’m sure many children are enjoying the fruits of your efforts.

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