The Youth Rendezvous was an event for students that was centered around the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery and the exploration of the west. The Youth Rendezvous took place August 13-18, 2006, along the Lewis and Clark Trail in North Dakota. The goal was to educate students about the Lewis and Clark journey as a military expedition by exploring the leadership and values of the military of the past and the military of today.
Ten students from each state and territory were selected to participate in the Youth Rendezvous based upon a Lewis and Clark essay competition. The event, including transportation, was free of charge for those students with the winning essays along with two chaperones from each state and territory.
The 2006 Lewis and Clark Youth Rendezvous included one day, August 13, for student arrival in North Dakota. The trip began with three days of plannedactivities, August 14-16, which took place at several locations throughout western North Dakota. Groups visited the sites on a round-robin basis. The final day, August 17, was spent participating in heritage and culture-based events and culminated in a closing event featuring the “friendship dance” symbolizing all the new friends students had made during their journey to North Dakota. Students and their escorts traveled home on August 18.
Through multiple activities and events, selected students followed the Lewis and Clark trail, experienced American Indian culture and discovered military history first hand. During their stay, the students visited Fort Abraham Lincoln and participated in activities designed to provide information about the history of On-A-Slant Indian village and the unique history of the cavalry. Lewis and Clark and Sakakawea re-enactors provided students with a glimpse of the expedition era which happened about 60 years prior to Dakota Territory forming. Included were tours of the barracks, stables, earthlodges and Missouri River. Students came face to face with 1870s soldiers and learned about Army life now and then. Indian gardening, tool making and clothing production were also highlighted.
Washburn, Knife River Indian Villages and Cross Ranch State Park gave the students a cultural and historic aspect of the expedition and provided specific insight into American Indian culture. Activities included expedition history at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in the community of Washburn, tours of Fort Mandan and the surrounding trails, a powwow, native plant and animal interpretations at Cross Ranch as well as a look at everyday life in the Knife River Indian Villages. All attendees arrived at varied times at Fort Mandan via the Missouri River.
Time will be set aside for on the last day for hands on participation in cultural activities. The scheduled events at North dakota’s capitol provided a unique educational opportunity for everyone to learn even more about the past through a cruise on the Missouri River and a trip through time at the Heritage Center.
Send requests to:
Lewis and Clark Youth Rendezvous,
P.O. Box 5511,
Bismarck, N.D., 58506-5511.