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Wednesday, 20 April 2016 19:50

Stride Soar Succeed vision to be imparted to the hearts of Native American kids this June


Marlena Hammen NativeVision Coordinator, Okmulgee School Superintendent Tod Williams, and Shavon Ncclenathan MCN proud to announce Youth Camp coming to Okmulgee.  (photo by Valerie Rice)

By Valerie Rice - ONN

Stride Soar Succeed motto will be the vision to take root in the hearts of many Native American kids this June in Okmulgee.

Marlena Hammen, Coordinator for NativeVision paid a visit to Okmulgee Tuesday as she is getting anxious to pull together joint efforts on a big vision.  Okmulgee will be host to the Native Vision Youth Camp this year on June 9-11 at the Claud Cox Complex which will be the center of activity. Hammen met with OPS Superintendent Tod Williams, school leaders and Muscogee (Creek) Nation staff to organize the plan.

Okmulgee Public Schools is partnering with NativeVision to assist with the event.  OPS will contribute in the use of school buildings and gyms including the new building at the High School for the Education portion of the program, the school cafeterias for their meals, use of school buses for transportation, if needed and Harmon Field and other athletic fields for sporting events including hospital park sports fields.

Up to 1000 students from over 15 tribal nations across the US, including some Okmulgee students, will travel to Okmulgee and participate in a 3-day sports and life skills event.   The camp is for Native American Indian children ages 7-18.  The camp is completely at no cost to participant including meals and board. Students will camp at the Complex.

The camp encompasses six sports; Football, Baseball, Soccer, LaCross, Volleyball and Track. More than sports, the three day camp not only will be a great cultural exchange but it also includes a variety of life skills and self-expression workshops for campers and adults. The camp will feature workshops in leadership, team building, nutrition, anti-bullying and arts and crafts for the younger kids. All programs help kids make positive choices for healthy lifestyles as they transition to adulthood.

According to the NativeVision website, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health was founded at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1991, based on two decades of collaboration between Hopkins health experts and Indian communities.  The Center’s mission is to work in partnership with tribes to research, design, implement, and evaluate interventions to raise the health and well-being of American Indians to the highest possible level.  

Hammen said that NativeVision partners with NFL Players Association and the Nick Lowery Charitable Foundation.  The Youth Camp was cofounded by Alison Barlow with John Hopkins for American Indian Health, Clark Gains who was the Assistant Executive Director of the NFL Players Association at the time and Nick Lowery a former kicker for the NYC Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs. The first camp was held in 1996, so this year will be their 20th anniversary.   

The program is operated by around 200 volunteers including 60 retired athletes and coaches, including NFL, NBA and collegiate athletes who will teach the students.  Barry Switzer former American football player and coach will attend the welcome ceremony on Thursday.  (See list below of those confirmed for instruction.)

Three scholarships will be awarded during the event including two $5000 scholarships to 2016 graduating seniors who will enter college in the Fall and award one $5000 to a local student. Applications are now being accepted.  Visit www.nativevision.org for more information under SCHOLARSHIPS.

The program generally stays at the same location for 2 to 3 years or more. So the hope is NativeVision will find a home in Okmulgee as Hammen said there is a chance a camp could continue year after year.

Click HERE for Schedule


L.J. Anderson, University of Central Florida & Kansas City Chiefs (12,13,14,15)
Frank Beede, Seattle Seahawks
Jon Haskins, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles & Stanford University (14)
Bobby Jackson, New York Jets (15)
Abrm McQuarters, Dartmouth College (15)
Bill Meyers, Coach Green Bay Packers, Pittsburg Steelers, New Orleans Saints
John Olenchalk, Kansas City Chiefs (97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11,12,13,14,15)
Ron Pritchard, Cincinnati Bengals & Houston Oilers (10, 11,12,13,14,15)

Gregory Frost, Coach University of Saint Mary (01,02,04,05,06,07,08,09, 10, 11,12,13,14,15)
Corey Gupton, Chicago Rockstars & Detroit Panthers (15)
Emma Hart, Park University
Derek Mueller, Park University (01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12,13,14,15)
Mimi Walters, Virginia Tech & Coach Yale & Bryn Manor Basketball (12,13,14,15)
Kim White, Park University (00,01,02,04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11,12,13,14,15)

Sam Halaufia, University of California Merced (15)
Alysha McCreary, Towson University & Coach UC Merced (10, 11, 12,13,14,15)
David Noble, Coach University of California Merced
(99, 00, 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12,13,14,15)
Patrick Pascual, University of California Merced (15)
Surabordin Prachumsri, University of California Merced (14,15)
Salamasina Satele, University of California Merced (15)

Michael Daney, Haskell Indian Junior College & Northeastern Oklahoma State University (06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11,13,14)
Erycka Fisher, Park University & Coach Concordia University (12,13,15)
Isabel Griffith, University of Pennsylvania (15)
Aneika Robinson-Gupton, Park University (15)
Anthuan Maybank, University of Iowa & 1996 Olympic Gold Winner 400 Meter Relay (12,13,14,15)
Maelynn Shelton, Coach Kansas City Blazers & Maple Park Viking (10, 11, 12,13,14,15)
Heather Smith, Park University & Coach Valley Coast Running & Fitness (13,14)

Phillip Hayes, Park University (13,14,15)
Bernd Linhart, Louisiana State University (01, 05, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11,12,14,15)
Kendra McMillen, University of Montana
Stephanie Pogue, Oregon State University & Western Oregon University

David Bray, American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame for Men’s Lacrosse & Cornell University (10, 11,12,13,14,15)
Pete DuMont, Cornell University & Founded & Coach Ithaca Lacrosse Club (11,12,13,14,15)
Justin Giles, University of Virginia & Iroquois Nationals (14,15)
Alf Jacques, Coach/General Manager Onondaga Red Hawks Lacrosse, & Wooden Stick Maker (11,12,13,14,15)
Cookie Krongard, Princeton University & New York Lacrosse Club

Katie Berdy, Columbia University
Sarah Biron, Johns Hopkins University & Coach MassElite Lacrosse (13,14,15)
Cassandra Hertzig, Columbia University
Paige Tollner, Plymouth State University & Coach New Hampshire Tomahawks Elite Lacrosse (15)