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When camp was founded in 2015, we were stuck on a name. How do you name something that doesn't yet exist? After months of trying to come up with something that would represent the dream of camp, we settled on Summer Youth Corporation, with the plan to change the name as soon as one that better represented camp came along. All around camp, little prairie dogs poke their heads up to see what our campers are doing each day. In addition to their adorable nature, prairie dogs have many attributes that represent our campers. They are known for living in close-knit communities, like the one we create at camp. Prairie dogs are also known for their ability to communicate with one another effectively, something we practice daily.


As a team, we selected the name Dló̜ó̜' Yázhí Day Camp! The Diné (Navajo) words “dló̜ó̜' yázhí” translate to “little prairie dog” in English. At camp, kids build resilience, self-esteem, and connections with peers, role models, and community. 



Hesston is from Smith Lake, New Mexico and studies early childhood education at NTU. A fun fact about Hesston is that he eats his burgers totally plain! Hesston is back for his third summer at camp and returns because camp and the activities are not only fun but provide an opportunity to learn a lot with the kids.

Kevina aka Batman

Kevina is from Churchrock, NM. She graduated from Wingate High School and attended ITT Tech in Phoenix. She loves to travel and see the scenery of the mountains and landscapes. She also enjoys playing the guitar and learning new things.




Luke is from Thoreau, New Mexico and brings his experience being the oldest of four siblings to his role as a counselor. Luke’s prior work includes his service in the U.S. Army. He is a mechanic and finds great satisfaction in working on vehicles. This fall, he will attend UTI in Arizona. He is excited about helping his community this summer at camp.



Michelle is from Thoreau, New Mexico, and is a student at CNM majoring in Criminal Justice. She spent a summer working in Page, Arizona where she met a lot of interesting people from around the world! As a lover of the outdoors (and someone who has a hard time sitting still!), Michelle is excited to spend her summer at camp experiencing the beauty of mother nature, keeping kids entertained without electronics, and enjoying the company of friends and family.


Cooking Specialist

Sierra lives in Gallup, New Mexico. She graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. An animal lover, Sierra has a cat, two dogs, and a goldfish! She enjoys hiking and the outdoors, and of course she loves to cook and be creative with food. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants in the area! Sierra is excited about camp because she loves being with kids and teaching them new things.




Hector is from Thoreau, New Mexico. He brings a love of outdoors to this summer at camp; his interests include fishing, basketball, and other sports. Hector studies Civil Engineering at NM State University in Los Cruces. He hopes to motivate and inspire the campers to recognize they can achieve anything if they put their minds to it!




Julian is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He wants to study to become an orthopedic surgeon at UNM. He enjoys playing basketball and football – it helps that he is 6’4”! He is excited about joining the team at camp because he likes being around kids and doing fun activities with them.



Sports Specialist

Tyler graduated Thoreau High School in 2018. He has played both basketball and volleyball. Tyler enjoys taking road trips, drinking Boba Tea, and spending time with his family and friends. His favorite colors are army green and navy blue. He's back for his second summer at camp! 



Tom is happy her summer schedule allowed her to return to Dló̜ó̜' Yázhí! Tom grew up in Thoreau, New Mexico, and enjoys the opportunity camp provides to learn new things from others. In the long term, she hopes to get her journeyman license. Her goal for camp is to make summer memorable for the campers!




Virgil is from Thoreau, New Mexico and studies at UNM Gallup. He enjoys playing sports like track and football, and also plays the trumpet. He is excited for this summer at camp because it helps his community by providing a fun and healthy place for the kids!




Ciara is from Gallup, New Mexico, currently studying Nursing at UNM in Albuquerque. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, and unwinding by watching her favorite shows. She hopes to go to Bora Bora one day! Ciara loves working with kids – in fact, she hopes to use her training to become a pediatric nurse!


Nature Explorers Specialist

Elisha is from Thoreau, New Mexico, and attends UNM, majoring in Automotive Technology. He enjoys working with vehicles and playing football! He loves working with young children, and brightening their day!


Art Specialist 

Cynthia, known to campers as Cindy, is originally from Church Rock, NM. This is her fourth summer at camp! Her passion is art, and she will be the Art Specialist this year. She loves bringing happiness and laughter to campers during their growing experience at camp! 



Leah is from Chicago, IL and taught Kindergarten and First Grade for 5 years at Mariano Lake Community School. She loves reading, writing, and her dog Wrigley. Her favorite time of the year is June/July because it means it's time for CAMP! 

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