Let the 2017 Challenge Bowl begin! The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Challenge Bowl kicked off with the high school competition Feb. 3 in Okmulgee, Okla. (DeLaune/MNN)
“The sponsors and our schools are the reasons why we are in the 17th year. Our sponsors have encouraged getting our kids involved in knowing their history.” - MCN Johnson O’ Malley Manager Regina Keith
Culture, History and language brings students back year after year
OKMULGEE, Okla. — Nearly 30 teams from several schools in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation jurisdiction and central Oklahoma made a yearly trip to the capitol for the MCN Challenge Bowl at the College of Muscogee Nation in Okmulgee.
From the Nation’s website, the Challenge Bowl is an annual event to help promote younger citizens to learn more about MCN history, government and language.
The Challenge Bowl is in its 17th season and it looks like it has no intentions of slowing down.
“The sponsors and our schools are the reasons why we are in the 17th year,” MCN Johnson O’ Malley Program Manager Regina Keith said. “Our sponsors have encouraged getting our kids involved in knowing their history.”
Keith always looks forward to February because she knows the children who participate are excited to be there.
“They are eager to learn our culture, language and everything else about the Muscogee (Creek) Nation,” Keith said.
For the high school competition there is an added incentive for the outgoing seniors. The Belvin Hill Memorial Scholarship is given to two students.
This year’s winners were Claudia McHenry from Okmulgee and Morgan Price from Beggs, Okla.
Both recipients were very excited and shocked to have won the award.
“My heart was pounding,” McHenry said. “I was surprised.”
Price echoed McHenry’s sentiments.
“I was very nervous because there are quite a few that apply for it (scholarship),” Price said.
Both girls share similarities as they are both in band and have been competing in the Challenge Bowl before their high school years.
McHenry is currently waiting on an acceptance from a school on the east coast, where she wants to major in physical therapy. Price is going to University of Central Oklahoma and will be pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
McHenry feels honored knowing she is among numerous other citizens who have won the scholarship.
“I feel proud,” she said. “Ever since I went to the Challenge Bowl I have seen people get the scholarship in the past. It has been really astounding and now I am one of the people who was awarded the scholarship.”
Price said that the Challenge Bowl has been a big help with knowing her history and learning more about her culture.
“It has helped me a lot,” she said. “Each year it is something new I learn about our culture and that is awesome.”
918.732.7703 | DDeLaune@MvskokeMedia.com
Darren has been with Mvskoke Media since 2009. He has always (and still does) played sports so he wanted to write about it. What started with sports, turned into features, columns, articles, whatever he can find around the MCN. He enjoys trying new things, which helped him become an avid dancer of bachata. Darren has one daughter, Syeann.