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Davis Journal

Kids experience life as a Mountain Man

May 27, 2022 10:35AM ● By Becky Ginos

BOUNTIFUL—It’s been 32 years since Andrew Davis encouraged his father to start a Mountain Man Rendezvous at Holbrook Elementary school. Andrew passed away at the age of 18 so now his father Kirk continues the event in memory of his son. 

The Rendezvous is part of the fourth grade social studies unit.

“It’s the highlight of the year,” said teacher Jan Davis, who has been at the school for 26 years. “The first thing kids say when they come into fourth grade is ‘do we get to do the Rendezvous and catch fish?’ The kids just love it.”

There are six different rotations, Davis said. “They fish with their bare hands and we show them how to clean and cook it. They use a rounder to make designs on leather and we pan for gold. We tell tall tales, make candles and shoot a bow and arrow.”

There’s a spinning wool demonstration, pie eating contest and a tomahawk throw, she said. “It’s pretty awesome. We have people from the community that cook Dutch oven for us and we eat it in pie tins. It depends each year on who comes. Sometimes we have a Native American or a bluegrass band. It helps them to understand how Utah history was shaped by many diverse people.”

The tradition has been carried on through a second generation of kids. “We had a father who participated as a fourth grader come back to chaperon his son around,” said Davis. “I myself had some of their parents.”

There are lots and lots of parent volunteers, she said. “We couldn’t do it without them. It’s been phenomenal for the 26 years I’ve been here.”λ