Pinehurst Elementary students show off their inner Mountain Men

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  • Courtesy photo Pinehurst Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Eli Bourgard silently barters with students during the school’s Mountain Man Rendezvous. The event is part of the fourth grade’s Idaho history unit.

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    Courtesy photo Students practice their hatchet throwing skills during the Mountain Man Rendezvous at Pinehurst Elementary School.

  • Courtesy photo Pinehurst Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Eli Bourgard silently barters with students during the school’s Mountain Man Rendezvous. The event is part of the fourth grade’s Idaho history unit.

  • 1

    Courtesy photo Students practice their hatchet throwing skills during the Mountain Man Rendezvous at Pinehurst Elementary School.

PINEHURST — Students in Eli Bourgard, Christina Derbyshire and Michele McKinnon’s fourth-grade classes at Pinehurst Elementary School participated in a Mountain Man Rendezvous.

The annual event has become a rite of passage for fourth-graders at PES, and one of the highlights of the school year.

The event is part of the Westward Expansion unit of the Idaho history course that runs throughout the year.

"Our Mountain Man Rendezvous event is meant to demonstrate many of the activities that would have occurred at a rendezvous,” PES principal Mike Groves said.

Students not only get to learn and experience what a gathering of these Mountain Men would have looked like, but then also get to participate in many of the activities that went on during a rendezvous.

Events at the rendezvous included footraces, tug-of-war, gambling, silent barter and hatchet throwing (don't worry, old dry-erase markers were used instead of hatchets).

The bartering is something Bourgard takes particularly serious and the kids really enjoy it.

“Each student began the rendezvous with 10 tickets, which they used as a Mountain Man may have used his furs,” Bourgard said. “They traded them for things like homework passes, books, toys, etc., and also used them as entry fees for the competitions.”

The event went over well with the students and Bourgard hopes that the event is one that sticks with the kids as they move on to higher grades.

“Fun was had by all,” Bourgard said, “and hopefully the kids remember the rendezvous for many years to come.”

These living history events are becoming the norm for fourth-graders at PES. Readers may remember that earlier this year Dan Smith put on an interactive performance as John Collins, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

For more information on PES and their Idaho history unit, call the school at 208-682-2193.

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