Each year, Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness (FSPW) asks seniors at high schools in Lincoln and Sanders Counties, Montana, and Bonner County, Idaho, to submit entries to the FSPW Essay Contest. The 2019 version drew over 30 entries on how each writer found their wild place. Stories ran the gamut from lone hunts to trips with family and friends in rugged country.
Certificates and cash awards were given to five winners. Sarah Detlaf of Thompson Falls and Delaney Weltz of Noxon tied for Best of Sanders County, and received $250 each. Delaney’s tale was of a family trip to Wanless Lake in her wild back yard — the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. Sarah tells about starting her first overnight backpack in the rain — but things got better.
Libby High Student Brett Camen received $500 as best of Lincoln County. Brett is an avid hunter who lost his sight to a rare disease at age 16. His story is of his first success as a blind hunter.
Elloria Lambert, Clark Fork High School, won best of Bonner County. She received $500 for her story about a less-than-lucky fire-starting class that was still a success.
Best Overall was written by Yeo (“yo”) Won Yarnell (pictured above with FSPW Executive Director Phil Hough). Her story about a mountain goat that ate her flipflops during a campout at Rock Lake in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness won $500. Yeo is a senior at Sandpoint High School.
Winning essays will be published on the FSPW website and in local newspapers over the next few months as part of the Voices in the Wilderness series.