Monday, April 02, 2007

Archery in the Schools Event at Deep Fork Refuge

A Program Worth Making an Oklahoma Road trip to Support
Nearly 100 students from three Okmulgee Co. schools showed up at the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday to participate in the second annual Okmulgee County Archery Day.

Students at the event competed against each other in Olympic-style archery shooting events and also tried 3-D archery target shooting and mock bowfishing. Additionally, students were treated to a wild game lunch and hands-on archery instruction. The highlight of the day-long event included a shoot-off between the three competing schools, which were Morris, Wilson and Beggs. Morris took home the team championship trophy, but every school had individual shooters who placed in the top three of either the boys or girls shooting events.

Taking first in the boys category was Luke Driver, Morris, followed by Alex Workman, Morris, and Christian Bowers, Wilson. In the girls category, Krysten McLaughin, Morris, took first placed, followed by Cassy Rice, Beggs, and Kate Nichols, Morris.

Okmulgee County Archery Day was part of the Oklahoma Archery in the Schools program coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The national program is a partnership between state wildlife agencies, schools and the nation's archery industry.

"The Archery in the Schools program makes it possible for students to try a sport that isn't normally offered in schools. It's so much fun though, that schools are catching on and getting students involved," said Lance Meek, hunter education coordinator for the Wildlife Department who also heads up the Archery in the Schools program for the state.

Designed for 4th-12th graders, the Archery in the Schools curriculum covers archery history, safety, techniques, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement. Teachers attend an eight-hour National Archery in the Schools training class taught by certified Wildlife Department instructors, and then return to their schools fully prepared to teach the two-week archery course to their students.

Students shoot at targets placed before an arrow-resistant net, and the shooting equipment is designed to fit every student. Eleven universal draw-length compound bows, 60 aluminum arrows, five foam targets, a bow rack, a backstop and a repair kit are all part of the Oklahoma Archery in the Schools kit that can be purchased by schools to offer the program.

"Archery is one of those sports where all students can really learn to excel at something, and it allows them to be a little competitive, too,"
Meek said. "But even if they don't compete in the sport, archery is still a lifelong hobby that they will always have to enjoy."

The Oklahoma Archery in the Schools state tournament is slated for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 26 at the University of Central Oklahoma's Hamilton Field House and Wellness Center. Any of the state's 80 schools that have taught the two-week Archery in the Schools curriculum can bring students to compete in the tournament.

For more information on the Archery in the Schools program, log on to


Andy Potter said...

I have just started volunteering at Okmulgee State Park as a Naturalist. I have having a program on sunday and monday of memorial day weekend. we are meeting at the Big Rock Shelter in Red Oak Campground at 5:30.

Thomas said...

Thanks for the tip, Andy!

My wife and I have enjoyed a running gag about confusing the terms Naturalist and Naturist since we learned about Oaklake Trails Naturist Park near Depew, Oklahoma.