The youth of the church congregations in our region of the state got together last week to recreate a Mormon pioneer handcart trek. Between 1856 and 1860 nearly 3,000 early members of the church traveled by handcart to the Salt Lake Valley. This activity was to help the youth gain a greater appreciation and understanding of their pioneer heritage.
The trek was a three day camping and hiking experience with the youth pulling their supplies in handcarts through the wilderness of a large ranch owned by the church in Oklahoma. The leaders thought it might be nice for them to have a little bit of entertainment and recreation their second evening. That's where I and some fellow musicians came in.
We were kind of a rag-tag quartet of a flute, a violin, a banjo and a guitar.
(Owen sneaking around with the camera)
steampunk outfit and it worked great. I also had a bonnet, but none of the youth were wearing theirs in the shady evening, so I left it tied on my apron and just wore the headscarf that I had on anyway.
Obviously we get a big kick out of costuming in our little family. But there is a feeling when you are dressed up that is not there otherwise. (This fact can be used for good or bad purposes of course.) Historical clothing just really helps you to gain a connection with those that have gone before you. It aids in your understanding of them and helps aid in the task of learning the good that their experience has to offer us today.
I loved having the opportunity to provide music in manner that would have existed back then as well. Real live music is something that youth don't get as much exposure to these days either. I was happy to help share my talents to help the youth understand and appreciate the enlivening and uplifting spirit that good music can provide.