|Chris Langstein demonstrates a carrying basket with straps around her shoulders and head. Langstein, who had set up an authentic trapper's camp, explained to several hundred students about the lifestyle and tools necessary for a trapper to survive. It was presented by the Lighthouse center.|
It was a day to reflect the colorful past of Lewis and Clark. It was also day for over 350 students to observe a hands-on approach to a Rendezvous and see how our early explorers and trappers fended for themselves in the wild west. It was also a day for the Lighthouse Life and Learning Center to proudly prepare an event and execute it with numerous educational stations.
The Lewis and Clark Commemorative Rendezvous, which took place last Thursday, Oct. 3, included fourth and seventh grade students from the Carbon School District on the back lawn of the district offices.
Students from the Lighthouse, under the direction of teacher Karen Bedont, served as hosts and guides for the students. Several members of the community set up camp and presented information to the students on the lifestyle and activities of residents west of the Missouri River during the time of Lewis and Clark.
Mrs. Bedont's students prepared for the rendezvous by studying about the Lewis and Clark expedition and working on several craft projects. A large cottonwood tree trunk is being carved into a dugout canoe with instruction from Steve May. Students have been working on the canoe since the beginning of the school year. The canoe will be finished and then launched on the Price River in the spring.
Students made elk jerky, Lewis and Clark style, with only salt and pepper for seasonings.
Lighthouse students cut out and sewed their own clothing for the rendezvous. The girls made Plains-Indian style dresses while the boys made shirts and tunics similar to the Missouri River boatman's clothing. Their clothing was worn during the rendezvous as they guided students through the activities. The SES alternative classroom students and their teacher, Kathy Wilson, made a working clay oven with local materials as they too prepared for the rendezvous.
A variety of activities and learning experiences were presented to the visiting students. As the school classes arrived, students from the Lighthouse led them to the hill where Mrs. Bedont taught them a little about Lewis and Clark and the Crops of Discovery. The students were told that although Lewis and Clark were the first "Americans" to map and explore the area, the mountain men, trappers and several Native American tribes were already living there. Rendezvous were being held at the same time throughout the West/Northwest at the same time that the Corps was exploring.
Mrs. Bedont explained to the students the background of a rendezvous and what was being presented to them by the students at the Lighthouse. Steve May allowed the kids to work on the canoe while Kathy Wilson baked sourdough bread for them to taste. Mrs. Wilson also taught about wool felting and had the kids work their own wool balls into a stiff felt.
Doug Hall prepared black beans, corn and sunflower nuts from recipes found in the journals of Lewis and Clark for the kids to taste.
Jim and Chris Langstein set up an authentic trapper's camp and explained the lifestyle and tools necessary for a trapper's life. Paul and Karen Bedont set up a trader's tent where the students were able to purchase rabbit skins, rabbit feet and raccoon tails along with larger furs and bead work.
Students were also able to taste the elk jerky made by the Lighthouse students while visiting the trader's tent. Brent Stettler brought his hand made arrows and spears to show to the kids and explained the work involved in making them. He also showed them how to throw spears using an atlad.
In addition, Mr. Stettler brought animal furs to the demonstration that belong to the Division of Wild Resources for the kids to touch and feel. Jay Frandsen came in from Emery County to show the kids how arrowheads are made. He carefully chipped away at obsidian to create some beautiful arrowheads. Wellington resident Vaughn Johnson set up camp and spent his time showing the kids how to start a fire with flint and steel. Each student was given the opportunity to try this skill.
Angela Paskett explained how loomless beading was done and showed the kids the work involved in making the beautiful beadwork that is on the leather clothing of Native Americans.
On Saturday, the rendezvous was open to the public. Some of the students from Friday returned with their parents and explained to them what they had learned. According to Mrs. Bedont, "it was a great experience for both the students from the Lighthouse and those students who came as their guests."