By: Lani Hansen, Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– The Muscogee (Creek) Nation 19th Annual Challenge Bowl which begins on Feb. 14 with the high school division returns to the College of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
This will be the fifth year CMN has hosted the annual challenge bowl. According to Regina Keith Manager of MCN Johnson O’ Malley program, 2001 was the first year and that competition was at Sapulpa High School. With the growth of the competition each year the challenge bowl has been hosted at different sites, but once CMN was built they were able to have the competition there.
The first year the challenge bowl started they were using pen and paper for answering questions, but since then they are using tablets. According to Melinda Deerinwater Volunteer Coordinator for the challenge bowl, they are using the same procedures of how the competitions are ran.
“We are finding out that the sponsors or teachers at the schools are really teaching the kids,” Deerinwater said. “They study hard, and I think they start studying right after one challenge bowl is done and get into the next year.”
This year the challenge bowl committee has made one change since last year, Keith said they have removed the 60-second round for the elementary division and added another Creek round.
“When the committee was talking about that, they wanted to be able to increase their exposure to the younger students who are in third grade,” Keith said. “They wanted to increase the exposure to Creek words and build on that, to increase their knowledge. It is an effort to keep the language alive.”
The categories each division competes in begins with the toss-up round which includes random questions regarding history, culture and tradition. There is a language round and the government round which has been changed due to the elections for the new chiefs and council. Deerinwater said the 60-second question is only for the middle school and high school division. There are four quarters in a round, and depending on how many teams are competing they use 10 rooms at CMN.
This year there are 37 teams competing in the high school division, 48 teams in the middle school division and 47 teams in the elementary division.
“That is a combination total of students competing with a total of 615 students,” Deerinwater said.
With limited space to use at CMN for the competition the committee has limited four teams per school. The committee also allows communities to form two teams to compete.
The competition kicks off with the high school division on Feb. 14, and will continue with the middle school division on Feb. 21 and finish with the elementary division on Feb. 28.
“We have them on Friday’s because there are no classes going on at the college,” Keith said.
The Challenge Bowl is closed to the public due to limited space.
For more information about the Challenge Bowl, contact Regina Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918-732-7839.