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Press Release

Release Date: April 08, 2010

by Dana Lance

DAVIS, Okla. - Seventeen Chickasaw children spent a weekend disconnected from the television and re-connected with nature and their families during Hayaka Unta Spring Camp, March 5-7 at Chickasaw Ranch near Davis.

Hayaka Unta ("to stay in the wilderness") is a unique, tribally-sponsored camp that provides Chickasaw youth and their parents an opportunity to tent camp and try new activities, such as fishing and bow making.

Most campers, young and old, said it's the laid-back, relaxed atmosphere of the camp they most enjoy. Many parents were drawn to the campfire, while their children played the nearby woods Saturday afternoon.

"I just like being outside, just hanging around and throwing rocks in the water," said 10-year-old Justin Palmer, of Norman.

Justin attended the camp with his dad, Joe Palmer.

Cuterra Love, of Ada, discovered turtle shells at the Chickasaw Ranch.

"Me and my mom are going to paint them and hang them in my room," said the 11-year-old.

Cuterra attended camp with her mother, Twana. The pair stayed up until midnight the first night of camp, just sitting around the campfire.

"Getting away from the television is nice," said Twana.

Easton and Tyson Going II, both of Ada, enjoyed riding on a horse-drawn wagon with their dad, Tyson Going I.

The wagon, pulled by a pair of Belgian mares, was provided by Bill McGehee, of Stonewall.

The boys said they also enjoyed the archery activities.

Camper Dillion Lamb, of Shawnee won a bow handmade by Glen Leming, of Sulphur, during a bow-making seminar.

Campers started the day Saturday with a fishing seminar. Other activities included making dream catchers, target shooting, exploring and hiking, along with all the trappings of tent camping.

Campers were also treated to some great campfire songs and cowboy ballads, led by ranch operations manager Gary Pratt, who is also a well-known cowboy singer and songwriter.

Hayaka Unta is offered in December and March at no charge to Chickasaw families. Proceeds from Chickasaw Nation businesses fund the camp.

For more information, contact Chickasaw Nation Youth and Family Division, Youth Services Department at (580) 310-6620, or visit

Last Updated: 09/16/2016