One of our recent adventures with the Alumni Activities Club took us to the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY. Jessica Lewis, Jose Galvez, and their Volunteer Coordinator staff piled into one of the Yankee Trail buses for a day of responsible fun with the Laws of Chance! We all enjoyed a sumptuous lunch at one of their fine restaurants and took time to enjoy the landscape and walking trails as metaphorical summer continued to raise its head for one more day in the early autumn.

There are so many things to do on the casino grounds besides gambling and sometimes the best things in life are enjoyed for free. We also learned a little bit about Native American culture to add to the day’s surprises. The Oneida Indian Nation has a creation story in which they believe the entire world started on the back of a gigantic tortoise. The following information has been directly copied from the colorful display at the casino.

“As you begin your journey you might take the time to reflect on the Oneida Creation Story. The story tells of the Sky Woman who fell from the other side of the sky and came to rest on the turtle’s back, which the other animals had covered with soil from beneath the sea. Thus living things may always find nourishment from the soil, for it always springs from Mother Earth.

Did you Know?
The Oneida Nation was the first American Indian Nation to sponsor a float at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” The float, titled “The True Spirit of Thanksgiving” depicts the Oneida version of the Creation Story, featuring a 19-foot tall white pine tree, turtle island, and Haudenosaunee Dancers.”

The students actually learned about this Creation myth in the Mythology Class that is taught by Professor Michelle Brown throughout some semesters. We are looking forward to more trips that combine thrills, nature, and/or even a small dose of education!