Troop 21 - St Joseph, MO

Troop 21 - St Joseph, MO

Posted on Saturday, March 1, 2014...

Trappers Rendevous 2014

Harvey County Park (Newton, Kansas) - The tradition of the rendezvous was started by General William Ashley's men of the Rocky Mountain Fur company, in 1825. Mountain man James Beckworth described the festivities as a scene of "mirth, songs, dancing, shouting, trading, running, jumping, singing, racing, target shooting, yarns, and frolic with all sorts of extravagances that mountain men, trappers, and native Americans could invent."

On a cold early morning on January 18th, the Scouts and Venturers of Troop and Crew 21 loaded up their gear for a 2:30am departure for the long trip to Quivira Council's 37th Annual Trappers Rendezvous near Newton Kansas.  The long 4 hour drive was bound to include some pre-event snoozing for the tired scouts. An early morning stop in Junction City, Kansas included a quick breakfast at Mc Donald's (coffee resupply) and a bio break (restroom).  Upon arrival the magnitude of the event was staggering, roughly 5000+ Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Adult Scouters along with staff and day participants made up the giant event.   The Troop/Crew 21 units were to be the only representatives of the Pony Express Council on this regional event.  Scouts from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Arkansas made Harvey Park their home for the weekend.

21 invaded an open piece of ground south of the Little Arkansas River and pitched camp quickly and efficiently and made ready for what was to come.  Shooting sports, concessions, trading posts, branding, tool making, craft making, trading, trading, and more trading.  Thousands of scouts busied themselves with trading trinkets, handcrafted items, furs, knives, and just about anything you could possible think of.  Scouts dressed in period costumes, military gear, and a variety of dress made for an interesting show.  I think we saw the Mario brothers and several super hero's throughout the day. The morning events were full of excitement and the weather was decent (except for the north winds which wrecked havoc on participants and tents alike). The afternoon saw more fun and was capped off by a fun run by brave participants (many of them from 21).


As evening approached, thankfully the winds died down and the unit enjoyed a delicious and hearty meal of beef stew and spent the rest of the evening relaxing by the warm fire and roasting marshmallows.  A scout, to be left unnamed, provided some comic relief after falling into a giant cold ash pile and taking on the appearance of a walking cloud...hilarious.  A cold night didn't hamper the spirits of 21 and a breakfast of omelets preceded our quick cleanup and departure. 


The long drive back included a fast food break, an awesome short hike up to see some artillery pieces south of Ft. Riley, and way too many potty breaks at Kansas Rest Stops (sorry Kansas), made the return trip interesting.


A good time was had by all and we look forward to our return to the 38th Trappers Event.


Tonie Jones


Troop 21