News, Springfield

the ways of the mountain men’

Lola Meske from Troop 164 out of Oakridge, showcases the candle she made that has layers of pink, white and purple. Meske, 12, said her favorite part of the event was camping with her family and other scouts. JEN BLUE/THE CHRONICLE

SPRINGFIELD – Tucked away in southern Springfield, Scouts from as far away as Brookings, Corvallis and Lincoln City gathered for the 27th annual Fall Rendezvous, an event hosted by the Oregon Trail Council that combines modern Scouting with ”the ways of the Mountain Men.”
”It’s the only council-wide event that gets everyone together as one group,” Tim Page, former council commodore for Oregon Trail Council, said. ”It’s important to see the other units.”
Page’s father, Dennis Page, started the Rendezvous as part of his Wood Badge ticket – which is the Scouts’ training for adult leaders. He was 13 when the first event took place in Zumwalt Park, in Veneta.
He said that there were seven troops present at the time, but over the years it grew and grew. He said that it was the idea of teaching historical skills and indigenous culture that was the focus of all the activities.
One of the stations included a reenactment from Army Group 1944 and reenactments of World War II.
”It offers opportunity to work on primitive skills like starting fires and candle-making,” Aiden Hlebechuk, reenactor, said. ”They’re doing things that there’s not a lot of opportunities to do.”
Hlebechuk said he always came to Rendezvous as a Scout and it was his second year volunteering.
It was the first time at the Rendezvous for Wolf Scout David Fishbaugher, 8, and his mother, Christine.
”It’s interesting, educational, safe, welcoming and well-organized,” Christine said about the event. ”It’s a good experience for young people and parents who want an organized, fun activity.”
Candlemaker Joe Rubash said he’s been with the Rendezvous since it started, along with his brother, father and a family friend. He said they started teaching calligraphy but moved into candle-making over the years. The process is simple: take a string and dip it into wax, then water to cool it, and repeat the process until completion.
”Kids really like it,” he said. ”I think it’s popular because unlike the other events, it’s not a competition.”
Lola Meske, from Troop 164 out of Oakridge, was also at the Rendezvous for the first time.
”My brothers went to another camp but they were using derogatory terms and I wasn’t able to go. So we came here and it’s a lot more fun,” she said.
Meske, 12, said candle-making was her favorite activity – she made a candle with layers of white, pink and purple – but that it was the experience that was most valuable to her.
”Coming here with family and Scouts … I haven’t ever done an event like this,” she said.