Flathead-area Scouts invade the Bitterroot

By Beacon Staff

More than 60 Boy Scouts from six troops in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell and Whitefish descended on the Bitterroot Valley’s Rennaker Ranch this past weekend for the fifth annual Bitterroot Rendezvous.

The event involves approximately 200 participants and staffers, with events and activities including a Colter Run, spear throw, flint and steel fire starting, tomahawk throw, archery, blackpowder and a mountain man trading post complete with blackpowder rifles, throwing hawks and knives, as well as hand-made mountain man style clothing.

The Colter Run is a reenactment of the escape of John Colter in 1809 from a tribe of Blackfeet Indians. For the Scouts, the timed event includes crossing a river to retrieve a flag and paddling down stream to a take out point, running to a station spear throwing station, running again to a station where the goal is hitting a grouse (or in this case, a hanging coffee can) with a rock, running once more to a flint and steel fire starting station, and repeating the run to each of the other challenges, including the tomahawk throw and blackpowder shoot.

Over 600 youth ranging in age from six to 20 participate in the Boy Scout program in the Flathead Valley.