Ottawa Sportsmen's Club News

July 21, 2003

Carole Williams, Club Reporter

Pre-1840'S Lifestyle Experience

Open to Area Youth

The Daily Mining Gazette Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The Ottawa Sportsmen have donated the use of their facilities for a pre-1840's lifestyle "Summer Youth Rendezvous" to be held the week of June 16 - 20th from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily. Space will be limited to 20 youngsters, ages 13 - 17, from Baraga, Houghton, Ontonagon, and Keweenaw Counties.

Jon Henkel, who is the Project Director, is a retired educator with a strong interest in history, especially as it would pertain to frontier days in America. Although Jon is an active member of the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club and an officer of the U.P. Muzzleloaders Association, he is presenting this experience for area youth in an individual capacity and through a grant obtained from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, as well as through donations from local businesses and the KBIC.

Activities planned for the young folks will include hands-on learning experiences in pre-1840's camp living and equipment, blacksmithing, fire starting by friction, flint and steel fire starting, making lead musket balls, loading and shooting muzzleloading rifles, moccasin making, participating in simulated hunting expeditions, hatchet and knife throwing, the art of arrow making, animal tracking, trap setting, and rudimentary sketching. While all this may sound "male-orientated", young Annie Oakley's are very welcome to attend.

There will be many demonstrations of learned skills by adults such as how hides are tanned and how traps are set to ensure fur for market and food for the table. They will also be able to learn about the meaning of various Native American dances, the symbolism of the regalia worn, and how to "read" the cadence of the drums. There may even be some "story telling" around a campfire during the noon hour lunch, which will be provided every day by the camp cook. Many of the instructors and supervisors will be dressed in vintage clothing complete with leather fringe or prairie bonnets.

The young people will be organized into groups of four or five and will attend these learning sessions in rotation as a team. Leadership positions within each group will alternate daily so as to give leadership responsibility to each member. The children will also be closely supervised by a large group of adults, including many O.S.C. Range Officers who will also be on hand to monitor the shooting portion of the learning experience.

Parents and area business people who have helped to sponsor this event will be invited to join the teens for a noon lunch on Friday and to watch them participate in a demonstration of some of the new skills they've learned throughout the week.

The clubhouse will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily with adult supervision on the premises for those parents who might have a conflict with their work schedule and who need to drop off their children earlier or pick up their children later in the day. The camp will be in session regardless of weather conditions so rain slickers, warm clothing, and bug spray are advisable carry-alongs.

Registration applications are on a first come, first served basis and must be postmarked no later than June 7th. A registration fee of $25.00 is required and will help to defray the cost of some of the many articles the children will make during the week and bring home as souvenirs of their "Pre-1840's Lifestyle Experience." Applications should be requested as soon as possible from Jon Henkel at 353-6511 or from Monique Fox at 353-6623, extension 4205.

The Ottawa Sportsmens Club is located on Hwy M-38, 8 miles west of Baraga. More club information can be found at the Ottawa Sportsmen's club web site at

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