Teepee Camping Excursion in Montana
Adventures in Travel & Sustainability Studies
The Worldwide Navigators Difference
Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?1 of 1
Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.1 of 1
Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.1 of 1
A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?1 of 1
Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!1 of 1
Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.1 of 1
Your adventures in travel are leading you to step back in time to an original teepee camp in the land of the Northern Cheyenne, known as the Morning Star People. Arrive in Billings and transfer to your hotel where your local guide will meet you along with others who share your interest in engaging in immersion adventures in travel. Depending on what time you arrive, you may be able to explore the area and perhaps visit Pictograph State Park or Boot Hill Cemetery!
Tomorrow, you’ll head out to your teepee camp where you’ll be staying for the next few days as you immerse yourself in the life and traditions of the Cheyenne. Your teepee is not at all a luxury hotel, but it will give you vivid insight into the old ways!
After breakfast, you’ll travel to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation for an orientation in traditional camp life and customs. This unique immersion experience takes place with a time-honored spiritual leader and his family, and allows you to be part of the traditional lifestyle of the Cheyenne.
You’ll raise a teepee today and learn about wild, native plants and how to use them. You’ll also learn some words from the Tsitsistas language and practice the Cheyenne arts. You’ll cook food on an open fire with utensils from the old days, and gather around a campfire at night for stories and talk of the Cheyenne ways and beliefs. Under the stars, you’ll learn about their connection to timeless star wisdom. These experiences will be interwoven throughout your stay here as you grow in understanding of the ways of this ancestral people.
You’re going to experience much more than camping in a teepee ─ you’re also learning first-hand about the traditional lifestyle and values of the Cheyenne people who lived in those teepees.
Your days of learning the ways of the Cheyenne are flexible and include time for relaxation and reflection. Since this immersive tour is about the old days and how that history also affects people today, you’ll gain insights through experiential learning about the everyday life of the past. Through this historical lens, you’ll come to understand the community’s struggles in today’s world, from poverty to housing to social resources.
Over these next few days, you’ll take memorable field trips to places where events occurred that were pivotal in the history of the Cheyenne people, places that changed the future of life on the plains.
Visit the Rosebud Battlefield, known as the fight “Where the Girl Saved Her Brother.” Here, it is quiet and undeveloped and remains much the same as it did when the battle took place. Enjoy a hike to the petroglyphs and the view from Crook’s Hill as you reflect on the history of this sacred area.
Note that the sequence of these activities this week may vary depending upon your interests and your Cheyenne leader and his choices in how to share his culture with you; some may need overnight alternative lodging to assure the most convenient logistics.
Take a field trip to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield, where Custer made his last stand. While it was a defeat for the U.S. Army, it was also the beginning of the end for the Native Americans and their way of life. Immerse yourself in that long ago time as you walk among the battlefields. Explore the trails by horseback as your guide unfolds the stories that took place while you visualize the area from the viewpoint of the Native Americans and U.S. soldiers. Follow the footsteps of Crazy Horse and Custer and learn about the events that took place on that fateful day in history and how the results of those actions still echo to this day.
Your teepee camp life continues to teach you the old ways. As you explore more of the area, you’ll visit First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park, an archaeological site where hunters more than 2,000 years ago drove entire herds of bison over the cliffs. Understand more about the bison culture that honors the sacrifice the bison made so that the native people could survive.
See the historic Indian Agency in contrast with the modern Tribal Government Building and learn about the difference between the Cheyenne system of government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Visit a mission school and a trading post where you can buy locally-made arts and crafts.
Enjoy tonight’s campfire as it draws you in, and the drum circle sounds in synchrony with your heartbeat.
Awake from your traditional teepee and cook breakfast over the fire as native people have done for centuries. Visit the sacred site of Deer Medicine Rocks, now a National Historic Landmark, where Sitting Bull received his vision that the soldiers would bring defeat upon themselves and a victory for the native people. The history of the land and its people is revealed through walls of petroglyphs. The names of Custer and his men are carved in the sandstone, along with Sitting Bull’s vision. Imagine these soldiers and Native Americans walking and riding on horseback through this valley to a battle that would change all their lives forever.
Gather together tonight to share a last traditional meal with your Cheyenne hosts and reflect upon stories of your week as you sit around the warmth of the campfire under the watchful stars of the universe.
You’ll head back to Billings today as you say farewell to your adventures in travel at your authentic teepee camp. As you have immersed yourself in the land and traditions of the Cheyenne people, the stories of old and the meaningful connections you’ve made will stay with you forever. As the Cheyenne opened their lives and homes to you, may you take away an appreciation for their traditions and an understanding of the challenges they face in the present day.
Experience tepee camping in Montana on this authentic Native American journey into the land of the Northern Cheyenne. A spiritual leader of the Cheyenne will guide you in the traditional ways of the teepee and everyday life and introduce you to sacred places that influenced their unique culture. Through your adventures in travel, see fair-trade, ethical, respectful tourism in action. Immerse yourself in the stories of the ancient ones shared around the campfire, walk in the footsteps of the soldiers and Native Americans of long ago, and understand how the past influences the challenges faced by the Cheyenne of today.
Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!
In collaboration with our partners