The Jennings Creek Council will be holding its Fall Rendezvous this weekend at Camp Clay. Historical demonstrations were set up for visiting school children on Friday. (Times Bulletin/Lindsay McCoy)
BY LINDSAY MCCOY
Times Bulletin News Writer
VAN WERT - Van Wert YMCA Camp Clay Center on Liberty-Union Rd. hosted the Jennings Creek Council Fall Rendezvous beginning on Friday with a visit from local school children."We saw over 200 school kids today," said Rendezvous Booshway Michael Gentry. "Most of the camps were set up demonstrating one thing or another to the kids. It was a great event." The various demonstrations set up for the children included tanning hides, pioneer skills, and tin whistle making. Gentry's encampment is surrounded with a variety of animals hides that kids were able to touch and handle as well.
The camp at Camp Clay is only a small representation of a real rendezvous. Despite what most people think, Gentry noted that only fifteen of these events were held during the middle 1800s. These events were set up by traders who would meet up with trappers for a month-long party of trading goods for hides. It was an event that was convenient for all involved.
The fall rendezvous camp consisted of about 20 small encampments which can each hold between two to four people. This is an average size for this event although several Jennings Creek Council regulars are away. One of which is away on a bear hunting trip and another is visiting Maine.
People from all over attend these annual rendezvous, and the fall event saw people from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia. Gentry has been involved in the club off and on for over ten years just as many of the others involved have been participating for many years.
Despite the many repeat event-goers, the fall rendezvous did welcome a first-timer from Greenville who brought his young grandson, Dan. Dan has a particular interest in the tomahawk throw, and Gentry noted that he isn't like the typical kid. When Dan was asked if he wanted a whistle he quickly responded that he did not as he had already listened to the annoying things all day.
This event will continue throughout the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, various games will be put on by the campers such as rifle shootings and knife and tomahawk throwing. On the final day, Sunday, prizes will be handed out for those that competed best in each category.