51st annual Bigfoot Jamboree Begins

by Judy Bushy,m Happy Camp. Labor Day weekend is usually time for Bigfoot Jamboree, but this year wasn’t usual!! Lightening fires started in the area weeks ago. Fires seemed around us in every direction, and having a possible evacuation warning, life goes on. They ask us to put a sprinkler on our roof and pack our bags! They will let us know if it gets closer. At Wednesday’s Community Meeting they said the Oak fire is about a mile and a half from central Happy Camp!!

The question was whether we’d have the 51st Annual Bigfoot Jamboree!! Graciously, the Eclipse Incident Command has said that they would share the park with us. It is like a tent city. Actually with Happy Camp having a population of about 1200 and the Fire Camp of the Fire Fighters is about the same number. Bringing numbers in that equal the residents is interesting.

Fun Began
Fun began at the River Park at 6 PM when the Park opened for Beet booth, Concessions and vendor booths as well as Dan Effman at the grill cooking a steak dinner for those who came to the Kick off Dinner. (It was delicious) At the same time the Co-Ed Softball Tournament was to begin in Gail Zink Memorial Baseball Field. After a good steak dinner, the Junior Princesses Jessica Lantow, Emily Mattson and Abigail Rhodes as well as the Bigfoot Princesses Kara Brink and Nikki Harrison were escorted to the stage for the crowning of each 2017 queen.

Junior Queen and princesses

Kara Brink was crowned Bigfoot Queen while Jessica Lantow was crowned the 2017 Junior Queen. Alan Dyar was the announcer and after the first dance, the queens took raffle tickets to him to announce the winners of the Grand prizes, $200, $100 and a chainsaw, and then a big variety of gift certificates and gifts donated by businesses and others in support of the Bigfoot Queen Contest. A & M Premier Entertainment provided dance with karaoke at the pavilion until the park closed at 11 pm.

Saturday Fun
Saturday the park opened with beer booth and other concessions. At noon and it was Kids “Day at the Park with inflatable’s, a water slide obstacle course and bounce house. This fun for the kids was sponsored by Clinic Pharmacy, Karuk TANF, Sheriff Lopey Foundations, Double J & Pizza House and the KTHA, and Siskiyou Telephone. The First 5 had an event for the little ones too, Tots Fun Day for kids 5 and under.

Games & Vendors
If you were hungry with the festivities, there was Sushi and Fried Rice or India Mack’s Indian Tacos to satisfy your hunger. There were crocheted, leather, jewelry, wood crafts to appreciate. Throwing a baseball seemed to attract a line of contestants. The Ambulance Crew ran the Dime Toss Game. Fire T-Shirts in various sizes and colors were also available. The Happy Camp Chamber had books of local interest available and Dan Sheets shared his carving, not only on wood and elk horn, and glass. A rattlesnake walking stick that had been transformed from a Madrone curly stick found in the forest was amazing. Face painting, toys and fun for the kids demonstrated their amazing energy!!

The part of the day I most enjoyed was the Dancing Toes Youth Recital. After that, music was the theme of the rest of the evening with open Karaoke and then the Saturday Night Dance with The Roadsters.

Alan Dyar’s Message from Town Meeting

This Wednesday is the Excellent Mexican dinner of enchiladas, beans, rice and salad for only $10 across from the Bigfoot Corner. You an dine in the “open air at the Klamath Siskiyou Art Center’s lawn venue while enjoying the music performed by the River Bar Community Band. We’ve been eagerly looking forward to this for a month and can’t wait for a lovely evening with out Klamath Neighbors.

Last Wednesday was the Town Hall on Drug, Crime and mental health problems in Happy Camp. Sheriff Lopey highlighted a previous meeting with the Karuk Tribal, law enforcement, justice and social services personnel. The view that use and problems with illicit drugs are increasing and need to be dealt with. the Drug task force SUMIT is working on this issue, but Sheriff and Karuk resources are limited and the lack of jobs and economic prosperity hinders progress. Youthful offenders are most vulnerable and prone to anti-social behavior that needs prevention and treatment. Neighborhood Watch and DARE are active but need assistance. Schedules of law coverage, community citizen, governmental and private collaboration is needed because drugs and alcohol are causing crime and mental health challenges in the community.

Besides our many distinguished visitors from our of town to share with us, Sheriff Lopey asked Alan Dyar to speak! Alan mentioned that he first came her as Superintendent and Principal of Happy Camp Elementary School in 1991 until he retired in 2002. Then they needed a principal in the high school in 2007 and he answered the call, until her retired in 2011. October 2014 the new principal resigned and he came back to Happy Camp High School for a couple more weeks to June 2015. At this time he has a right hand man in the form of Carol Dyar, his wife of 45 years who has been the school secretary since Ruth Bain retired.

He strode to the front of the room and asked the gathered crowd, “Don’t forget the good kids!” Ninety percent of the kids are the good kids, some are fantastic They study and play hard and are going the right direction and we need to work with the students and their families.
Thank God for the Tribe who helps the children here get an education and go on to college and make something of themselves. But that means we have a Brain Drain, and we’re so glad when some of those students go away and get their education and then come back like a couple here tonight! Part of the problem is the billion dollar industry out there all around us that we can’t use because of red tape, but we won’t talk of that tonight.

“In the years I’ve been here in Happy Camp we have gone from 188 students in the high school down to about fifty! It is a problem, without jobs and without there being something to come back to the community! Bill Estep and some others in the room are trying to help with solutions in the Coordinating Committee but it is frustrating. Ray Haupt our new supervisor is working to that end.

“We have 45 fantastic kids and only a few 5 or 6 who have problems. We work closely with the probation department, Tianna and the other young lady as well as Sgt Callahan and Deputy Garrison at the High School. Arden and John have told you about the Athlete Committed and Committed Chapter at our high school.

“I’ve been in education continuously since 1970. Seeing all you here tonight, this is the beginning of it, We can make a dent. If we Impact ONE kid, it will all be worth it. We had one youngster self reporting her infraction of the Committed contract, and because she came forward, three others self reported. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time. but we don’t have time for a few. Biggest thing is how people work, , really care. Look at family structure, and positive male role models helps those who dont’ know how to work.

“We as a community have to do something!Don’t forget the good kids and we need to work with others and their families. It’s time for us to do something. Families go through the school program and some are involved in activities that alter the genetic make up of humans. That’s where they need to see what they are screwing up, Being a geneticist, raising racing pigeons, we know that if we screw up there, we’re heading down the wrong trail.

“We need a male mentor ship base. I can be the students worst enemy if needed to make a correction one day, but the next day they can come in and talk about whatever their concerns are with me in my office. We can talk about their goals and plans and how they can do better
Bill Estes from the audience asked if Mr. Dyar thought we could do without economic changes.
Happy Camp needs improved economic structure, It’s sad when the most profitable job (an old logger) can have is growing dope. We have got to have an economic base. Always something to stop mining, thinning forest, but the challenge is to start something and turn it around from that.

He was also asked about music and said the Happy Camp Elementary school has a full set of band musical instruments but the first thing to be cut from the budget always seems to be the music and that type of thing.

Alicia Derry told about the things that the Happy Camp Family Resource Center, one of ten in out county, does. They have Behavioral Health, Veterans programs, family law facilitator, emergency food bank, help people fill out food stamp and medicaid applications. They’ve worked with committed Chapters, and even have a community garden. When asked if they still teach parenting classes, she said that they have to have 10 parents or guardians sign up for a class to fun it. But they are getting psychiatry help and using Tele-health for that type of education.

Another presenter from the Karuk Tribe mentioned that the tribe has put on dances for the students and is a good resource for the youth of our community. We all want to see the community get healthy, not like it is now. and they also pay insurance for open gym so the students can play basketball or volleyball some evenings. She said Karuk are part of the community and always want to be! (editor note: From my point of view they are an intregal part of the the foundation of the community, the one’s who were here before most of us and often show tremendous generosity)

One of the visions is putting it all together. She was asked about curriculum about the culture and said that K-3 is nearing completion, as Educational Director, Crissa Bussard, has mentioned also.
It was a very well attended meeting and brought hope that this builds more collaborative efforts by all of our Klamath Neighbors. Hope to share more results from this meeting in the coming column.