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Saturday events to mark Ranch School anniversary

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By Tris DeRoma

History will repeat itself Saturday when Boy Scout Troop 22 will host a formation ride and perform a flag ceremony to Fuller Lodge to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Los Alamos Ranch School. 

Fuller Lodge was an original part of the school. The event will also kick off the Los Alamos Historical Society’s annual gala. 

A committee planning the event for the past year came up with the Boy Scout ride in. 

“Everybody at the table got really excited about that idea,” Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heather McClenahan said. 

The scouts have been training for the event. 

To help with the equestrian grand entrance, the gala enlisted the help of horse owners like Lisa Reader with the training. The troop was already being trained and reconnected with its horse riding past before the gala committee called about the ride in. The ride in will be similar to ones that occurred at Ranch School graduations in the early days of the school’s existence.

According to the University of New Mexico Photo Archives, Troop 22 was the first mounted Boy Scout troop in the United States. The troop was also involved with the Ranch School before it closed in 1943. 

Reader said the horse training and the troop’s reconnection with the horses will continue after the ride-in ceremony Saturday. 

“We’re really pleased to be helping them reconnect with their history,” Reader said. “... I think it will help reconnect Los Alamos and the Boy Scouts with Los Alamos’ pre-atomic era.”

The fundraising gala will feature live entertainment by western music performer Bill Hearne, an experience auction and a dinner catered by The Blue Window. The menu will include brisket and trout, the kind of food that would be on the Ranch School’s menu back when it was active. 

The experience auction will also have a ranch theme. Shooting lessons, a visit to the first Ranch School near Watrous New Mexico will be just some of the experience the public will get to bid on. 

Special gala guests will include seven students who attended the Ranch School.

One former student, Jeremy Taylor, will be on hand to visit with residents during the Los Alamos Historical Society’s exhibition opening at the Los Alamos History Museum. 

While the museum already has a permanent exhibit about the Ranch School, this exhibit, which will run until the end of the year, will center on the students who attended the school.

“What we’ve put together is an event truly celebrating the boys who attended the school and the school’s national and international impact,” McClenahan said. 

Students that attended the school include writers Gore Vidal, William S. Boroughs and industry leaders such as Sears and Roebuck President Arthur Wood and Santa Fe Opera Founder John Crosby. 

The History Museum enlisted the help of about 32 local businesses with the project. Displayed out in front of such businesses as Zia Credit Union and Pet Pangaea, are information panels about former students, some who became bankers or involved in helping animals. 

“It’s really been neat to have the community participate in this exhibit,” McClenahan said. 

The art exhibit opening with be Friday starting at 4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. The Gala will start at 5:45 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.

 

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People who want to see the ride-in event should gather near the north wing of Fuller Lodge before 5:45 p.m.