OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Agricultural Youth Program hosted it’s second annual 4-H Archery Camp July 12 at Looped Square Ranch. It featured many cultural activities for youth, including archery, fishing, and a flint napping demonstration. The camp was hosted at a new location to accommodate more activities.
Event organizers could not have asked for better weather in Oklahoma this time of the year. The morning saw an overcast sky with a reasonably consistent breeze that kept campers cool during outside activities.
MCN Agricultural Youth Program Director Billy Haltom was pleased with the turnout and the weather conditions.”The good Lord has blessed us beyond belief,” Haltom said.
For some, like MCN Wildlife Technician Brooklyn Bartling, it was their first time hosting an archery camp.
“It’s been quite an adventure, but it’s been fun, and it’s been going smoothly,” Bartling said.
Bartling has been shooting bow and arrows since she was nine years old. Bow hunting is one of her favorite sports.
“I would much rather archery hunt than do anything else,” Bartling said. “It’s quieter, more intimate of a hunt, and you respect the animal a little bit more because you’re closer to them.”
The camp offered traditional archery targets and 3D targets for participants to shoot. The 3D targets resembled various animals like deer, bears, and hogs. Many camp participants cited the 3D archery targets as their favorite camp activity.
The skill levels of camp participants ranged from novice to advanced. For some, it was their first time picking up a bow.
Haltom recognized the camp’s success was partly due to the parents that participated. “I’m just so excited about all our kids. We’ve got a great turnout, wonderful parents here with their kids helping. It makes such a difference when we get that much involvement, especially from the parents.”
Mandy Guillen was one of the parents involved with her kids at the camp. She loved the outdoor activities the camp had to offer.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the kids to do something hands-on outside of the home, not on videogames, and just to get with one another and learn the art of archery,” Guillen said.
Haltom and his team host the camp because they believe it is important to keep cultural traditions alive. “We’re getting them when they’re young. We’re getting them excited about archery,” Haltom said.
“It’s really fun to get them interested in it,” Bartling said. “I would like to keep the younger kids into the sport.”
To view, prior coverage of this story, visit: https://www.mvskokemedia.com/mcn-agricultural-youth-archery-camp-returns/.