Visits with Local Children
President Coolidge carved out time to visit with the children of the Black Hills. He valued the young people in the community, including many of them in his activities. He welcomed a group of children from Silver City’s Camp Wanzer, a camp for underprivileged kids affected by tuberculosis or malnutrition. He dedicated the newly-commissioned Boy Scout Camp Coolidge near the town of Custer. Over 250 boy and girl scouts attended the festivities.
He also visited the Rapid City Indian School, a boarding school for American Indian children. As Coolidge was aware, boarding schools were a critical component of the federal government’s forced assimilation policies for American Indians and they were increasingly criticized by American Indians and their supporters. But on that day, a disciplined formation of students greeted the President and Mrs. Coolidge. They were honored with a speech by the school’s gardener Tom Standing Elk and presented with handmade gifts. The students then put on a program to demonstrate their studies that included music and a dance performed by Rosebud Rose.