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70th Annual Mount Rushmore Pilgrimage

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The Rushmore Pilgrimage has been a tradition since 1938. At the first hike, there were only the images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln on the mountain. The final carving, Teddy Roosevelt, was still under construction. In past years we have had as many as 1,000 participants from Troops throughout South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Iowa, just to name a few.


2008 marks the 70th anniversary of the Mount Rushmore Pilgrimage! This year we are planning a special group campsite at Crazy Horse Memorial so it will be more like a jamboree, as well as, a historic hike. Our master of ceremonies will be Lieutenant Colonel Reid A. Christopherson, Executive Officer, 114th Fighter Wing, South Dakota Air National Guard.


For the leaders' guide and registration information, go to www.blackhillsareacouncil.com


Come and join us. Scouts will be allowed to hike to the top of Crazy Horse!


For questions, please contact me at kevinyjc@rushmore.com


Kevin Lewis

Pilgrimage Committee

Publicity Chair

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As a child, during a summer-long camping excursion by my family back in 1957, we stopped to see Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills. Fond memories.

Imagine my shock when I returned with my daughter a couple of years ago: presidential impersonators, vendors of all types, ice cream stands, face-painting, a huge multi-level parking garage, etc.

I was stunned.

I say hand the whole thing over to Disney and call it what it has become. It never was anything more than a desecrated mountain and now it's a theme park. Save some money for real national treasures.

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I understand your disappointment with the changes. I grew up here and moved a way for a few years. When I came back, the changes to Mt. Rushmore were massive. I preferred the rustic look and the use of the stone from the mountain. I agreed that new parking was needed. As time goes on, I get used to the change. Last time I was up there was the Pilgrimage last year. There are not the vendors up there, and they got rid of the people dressing up as the Presidents. Now they have native displays, the superintendit is Native and he is bringing the Native culture to the Memorial. That has caused a great uproar here, among Natives and non-natives.


That being said, the changes are not the reason to come or stay away. This is a major Black Hills Area Council event, hiking through the Black Hills, having a ceremony under the faces of four great presidents, the parade of flags by the Boy Scouts will be impressive.


Come and see or watch for the news, because it will be big!

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I tend to side with the superintendant, where do I send letters of support? I would be most impressed if they put together some meaningful memorial at Wounded Knee, maybe instill a little humility in the boys instead of celebrating blowing up a mountain.

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I was at Mount Rushmore 3 weeks ago. I was there in 1992. What a difference! The parking garages where not there in 92! We walked down to the artist studio on the way back up, I found the old part of the observation deck, and thought this is what I remember. We got there early in the morning we left by noon and the place was packed. My wife got the parking ticket on line of 6 dollars, It is 10 dollars if you get the ticket there. Still a lot to see for 10 bucks!

I really enjoyed talking to the Lakota Park Rangers as they gave a demonstration on cleaning a bison hide and how they used many of the parts from the bison.

Now Crazy Horse that is a tourist trap! But I did enjoy the Native American museum.

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