The Woodward News

Local News

June 29, 2012

Award encourages preservation, sharing of cattle trail history

Woodward, Okla. — The Oklahoma chapter of the Great Western Cattle Trail Association (GWCTA)  is seeking nominations for their first ever Young Oklahoma Trail Blazer Award.

The goal of the award is to help generate and encourage interest in the Great Western Cattle Trail, to celebrate its role in cattle drive heritage and to preserve its place in the region's history, according to LeRoy Jones, treasurer with the Oklahoma GWCTA.

To be eligible for the award, youths "will be required to complete a serve project," Jones said.  The service projects must center around the Great Western Cattle Trail, with an emphasis in sharing the history of the trail.

"The main reason behind us doing that is to draw more attention to the trail," Jones said.  "For many people who live in Oklahoma, when you say cattle trail, they think Chisholm Trail.  But the Great Western Trail was in existence for longer time and transported more cattle and horses.  We want to make sure the story is known about that also."

However, the type of project could be almost anything.  For example, Jones said students can give an oral history of people in the area who's ancestors had driven cattle along the trail; collect pictures of the trail; research essay on the trail drives that came through the area; putting together a program on the trails for civic groups such as the Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce; or setting an informational booth up at a local fair, according to Jones.

All nominees need to have their projects submitted by August 1st to LeRoy Jones, GWCTA Oklahoma Youth Award, RR1 Box 2472, Mountain View, OK 73062 or by e-mail to lsjones@westok.net.

Since the types of projects will vary, there is no set entry form for applying for the award.  Instead, students should submit documentation that best represents their type of project.

For example, if they did research on how the trail impacted their community's history, the student might write an essay.  

Or if "they do an oral presentation for the Rotary, Kiwanis, Lyons or another group like that or the Chamber," Jones said, "they could take pictures of them in process of giving the presentation and maybe have someone from club write down some of high points they made and turn that in."  Or they could submit a video of their presentation, he said.

For help with a project or how to submit your project, contact Jones at (580) 347-2432.

Jones said the association tried to keep the award requirements open to help encourage participation from more students.

"We didn't want to put  lot of restrictions on it (the Young Oklahoma Trail Blazer Award), because we didn't want to scare someone away that might do a good job," Jones said.

That is also why the only age restriction for those applying for the award is that they must be under 18-years-old.  Jones said he expects that the majority of the projects will come from junior high and high school aged students, "but if someone in a lower grade wants to do something, we don't want to leave them out."

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