Cowboy Rendezvous school presentations educate and entertain
Lenora and Craig Johnson entertain students at Canyon Elementary
Last month, CCSD students and teachers got a little taste of the wild west through the annual Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous. The Cowboy Rendezvous is a three-day event celebrating the culture of western and agricultural heritage. According to their website, it is a reunion of western musicians, cowboy poets, and artisans whose mission is to provide an atmosphere of high-quality cultural entertainment and educational activities to enrich individuals, families, and schools. Before the weekend of activities and events in the community, performers and presenters visited Cache Valley schools through educational outreach programs sharing cowboy art, literature, and music.
The school presenters included western cowboy artists, musicians, and historians who engaged students as they taught about various instruments, folk songs, and western history. Students listened to cowboy poetry and Western roots music. They were taught how to speak in public effectively and tell stories through word and music.
Craig Johnson, whose presentation introduced students to a variety of instruments, folk songs, and western history, considers it a privilege to visit schools and bring a close-up, hands-on experience to young people. He believes it is essential to have face-to-face experiences that create personal connections. In addition to allowing for social interaction, the activities that the cowboy entertainers bring into schools build a connection to a lifestyle and culture that is fading into history.
“I believe that America was built on physical labor by honest, hard-working men and women that cowboys and cowgirls personify,” Johnson explained. “This younger generation needs to get a taste and feel of that. And since we deliver it in an entertaining way, hopefully, they listen and retain some of it. We also try to connect students with a heritage of music that came across the ocean with our ancestors. I’d like to think that experiencing this music gives the kids a fun glimpse of -- and connection to -- their past.”
“Our respect for teachers grows each time we set foot in a classroom,” Johnson concluded. “God bless them and the young people they’re building.”