Outreach at the BeachPhoto by Christian Toews

Outreach at the Beach 2024

By Christian Toews
July 2, 2024

Tribal members in the Pushmataha County area had fun in the sun on June 5.

Each year, the Choctaw Nation organizes an annual community event called Outreach at the Beach.

This day of fun informs tribal members about the services available to them while providing a relaxing day at the beach. The event is held at Sardis Lake on a sandy beach surrounded by the foothills of The Ouachita Mountains. The event offered karaoke with prizes, a water slide for the kids, games, food and swimming in the beautiful lake.

Choctaw Nation program booths were set up on-site to provide information about services offered to tribal members. These vital programs provide tribal members with opportunities they would not otherwise have, including healthcare, housing assistance, support for veterans, scholarships and opportunities to learn about Choctaw culture.

Kenneth Winship is the Program Manager of the Youth Outreach with the Choctaw Nation and one of the major organizers of Outreach at the Beach.

Winship said that events like Outreach at the Beach are vital to getting information to some difficult-to-reach areas of the reservation.

“Some people don’t know about these programs or won’t reach out for help, and our program really gets to be the voice for tribal members who need help,” he said.

Lucy Nelson from Atoka attended the 2024 Outreach at the Beach event. She said that she learned more about many of the programs during previous years and has utilized several of the programs she has learned about.

According to Nelson, there have been winter months when she has needed help, and the Choctaw Nation has stepped in and kept her heat on.

Another Outreach at the Beach attendee, Brenda Adams, said that the programs offered by the Choctaw Nation helped keep her parents in their home as they aged.

“The Choctaw Nation has helped a lot with my mom and dad before they passed away,” she said.

To stay informed about upcoming events like Outreach at the Beach, visit the events webpage and follow the Choctaw Nation on social media.

To learn more about the programs the Choctaw Nation offers, visit the programs and services webpage.


Outreach at the Beach
Photo by Christian Toews

Alec Hornbuckle and Ace Tom have fun in the water of Lake Sardis during the Outreach at the Beach event.

Outreach at the Beach
Photo by Christian Toews

Blainey Smith is handed a flower necklace at one of Choctaw Nation's program booths.

Outreach at the Beach
Photo by Christian Toews

Conny Crites, Geraldine Isabell, and Starla Coley pick up materials and information on programs the Choctaw Nation offers.