Brielle Bait '22

Her Campus: Hi Brielle, I have heard you mention a mission trip at a Native American reservation that you went on. I wanted to ask you some questions about this mission trip if that’s alright.

Brielle Bait: Yes, I would love to talk about it!

HC: What group did you go with for the mission trip and where exactly did you go?

BB: I went with the Coyotes Field Hockey team. It is my club team and our coach, Steve, had made friends with a school administrator on the pueblo, and they coordinated our trips. The place we went to was a pueblo reservation called Toas in New Mexico.

HC: What was your basic goal going into the mission trip?

BB: We went to the reservation to teach kids at the elementary and middle school field hockey. We provided them with gear like field hockey sticks, shin guards and goalie equipment.

HC: After you taught the kids, who was supposed to lead the coaching of this sport?

BB: We taught the PE teacher, two other teachers and the administrator there so that it could be continued to be practiced safely. We started a field hockey club at their school so the kids would have an opportunity to be on a team. After we left, they would practice a couple of days after school and would play it in their PE class once a week.

HC: What would you say was your favorite part of this trip?

BB: Getting to know the youngest kids while seeing how confident they got when playing the older kids. Seeing how they changed when receiving coaching was great too.

HC: Off the field, what would you say your favorite experience was?

BB: Getting to know the Taos’s traditions and culture while meeting people in the community.

HC: After meeting people in the community, whose story impacted you the most?

BB: There was a man on the reservation who earned a Purple Heart from his service in the Vietnam War. He talked about the brotherhood between him and the people in his unit. He explained that even though it was in the '60s, after equality laws had been passed, there was still inequality within the army troops. When his group went on a detachment, some other soldiers in his detachment made him lead in the front because he was the only Native American there, even though they were supposed to rotate.

HC: That is an amazing story. I was wondering, was there anything that really surprised you when you came down to the reservation?

BB: I was surprised by how positive and upbeat the kids were with how little resources they were provided with.

HC: In what ways could you sense this positivity?

BB: They were so very thankful when we brought them a regular set of field hockey sticks and other gear. We would be done for the day and they would keep playing among themselves; it made me happy.

HC: That’s all the questions I have for you today; thank you for meeting with me and telling me about your interesting and amazing experience!