Wings sees high participation in Crownpoint


The Wings of America foundation had every reason to be smiling after their scheduled stop in Crownpoint this past week.

Girl dodges another girl trying to tag her

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Runners participate in a game of tag during the Wings of America’s Running and Fitness Camp at Crownpoint Middle School July 11.

On the second day of the two-day event, Wings saw significant growth as the number of participants grew from 66 to nearly 90 kids on Tuesday afternoon.

And while those numbers elated Wings Director Dustin Martin, he was more impressed with the retention rate.

“We had all but one come back from that first day,” Martin said. “That is what we’re proud of. When we look at our sign-in forms we want people to check in on the second day. We want them to keep coming back even if they are tired or sweaty and that means we are doing our jobs.”

Martin said in the past they have had other camps where everyone comes back but at those camps the numbers are not as high.

“Some camps we have 25, 30 kids and maybe less,” he said. “If that is the case usually everyone comes back so we are not that surprised.”

But with the help from the Office of Diné Youth in Crownpoint they were able to hit a high retention rate.

“In a larger rez town it’s hard to achieve those numbers because the kids have other options,” he said. “It’s easier for them to stay inside so this is the best retention rate we’ve seen this summer and we are happy to see that.”

Wings participant Jordan Wagner said the two-day camp was a lot of fun.

“We played a lot of games,” he said, while adding that his older brother Jaylen Wagner encouraged him to participate.

“I didn’t know they were going to come until late last week,” the 13-year-old Crownpoint youth said. “My brother saw a sign by ODY and he said let’s come.”

Of all the participants, Buzz Dale was the one that traveled the furthest, coming in from Shiprock albeit he’s was visiting his grandma in Crownpoint. The soon-to-be Shiprock High freshman said this was his first time participating in a Wings camp and at the conclusion of the first day he recommended other youth to give it a try.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “They had us stay busy and we didn’t get bored.”

Dale said they started each day with a game before they went into stretches for a three-mile run. After that they played more games to close out the rest of the day.
“My favorite game was the Monster Slayer,” he said. “It’s almost like Cookie Monster.”

Wings facilitator Christian Fowler said it was great working with the kids.

“They have a lot of energy,” the head facilitator from the Shiprock team said. “I get so much more active during the summer because they keep me on my toes.”

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Categories: Sports

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Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at