Camp Cherokee triumphs over ‘Zombie Apocalypse’
Camp Cherokee participants practice the art of blowgun shooting under the watchful eye of camp counselor Corey Still on July 21 at one of the camp’s activity areas in Welling, Oklahoma. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Camp Cherokee staff members Wrighter Weavel, Jacob Chavez and Sky Wildcat, back, instruct campers how to make baskets with at the Heart of the Hills campsite in Welling, Oklahoma. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
WELLING, Okla. – Cherokee campers not only survived but won over the “2017 Camp Cherokee Zombie Apocalypse” held July 16-21 at the Heart of the Hills campsite.
Cherokee Nation Education Services officials said “a virus” spread during the camp days across the campsite requiring campers to learn survival skills while searching for a cure.
Camp Cherokee Director Mark Vance called the zombie-themed program a success.
“Everyone is enjoying the classes. Everyone is engaged. The kids are having a blast...the staff worked hard, which made for a successful camp,” he said.
Officials said electronic devices were not allowed during camp week, although educational tools like iPads and drones were provided in individual classes. This year 150 campers attended the camp, and the camp was open to students who are CN citizens entering eighth through 12th grades for the 2017 school year.
Camp Cherokee Special Projects Coordinator Tonya Bryant said campers had 12 classes to choose from this year, including six arts classes and six science classes. Arts classes consisted of performing arts, choir, a “ZombieCom” newsroom, pottery, stickball and making traditional Cherokee weapons. Campers also participated in a science class and studied bacteria and viruses at a “Centers for Disease Control.”
“We had performing arts classes where kids learned the dance from Michael Jackson’s iconic album ‘Thriller,’” Bryant said.
Cherokee Youth Choir Director Mary Kay Henderson held vocal classes while Cherokee National Treasure Noel Grayson taught flint knapping and stone tool making."
Through the undead theme, campers learned survival skills, emergency management, journalism and timely bacterial research, which ended the “Zombie Apocalypse” on the last day of camp when a cure was found.