Arapeen Jamboree #6
This year was the sixth year for the Arapeen Jamboree held in Ferron. More than 50 people from across the US and Canada came to enjoy the beauty of the San Rafael and the Manti LaSal Forest. Local residents and members of the SouthEastern Utah Off Highway Vehicle Club were the guides for the rides.
Mark H Williams, organizer of the event, said, "The jamboree this year was perfect. We have grown a little each year and we are now where we would like to maintain. This is a rural area and this influx of people has an impact. We can handle this amount of people and we are very grateful for those who attend. I have had comments that this jamboree is better than the big ones because the guides are friendly, the rides are manageable, and everyone gets to know everyone. It seems to be a lot more fun when everyone gets to know everyone else."
First time attendees Ann and Bob Roenicke along with Nancy and Tom Polk came from the Redding, Calif. area to check out this experience. The two couples are on a two month travel spree to visit jamborees and other events around the southwest. One of their first stops was in Ferron for the Arapeen Jamboree.
Ann said, "This has been a wonderful jamboree. The scenery is spectacular. It was almost as great as the people I met," she quipped. "It has been a lot of fun and the jamboree is small enough to be family like and friendly."
Ann's husband Bob added, "We drove into the area last year and I honestly was not impressed. I was a little skeptical coming into the jamboree. This experience has been a pleasant surprise. The guides were great and very informative with the history of the area. And, because of the small size of this jamboree, it is great to get to meet everyone here and talk and get to know everyone."
"As far as jamborees go, this one is great. I like the compact size because the guides are not overwhelmed with the number of people and can visit with everyone on the ride. You learn a lot about a community by the jamboree hosts. Through jamborees, a visitor can begin to feel a part of and get to know the community. This community allows that," said Nancy Polk.
Nancy went on, "As far as the rides, the scenery is spectacular. I was in awe around every turn. This little known area puts other, more well known places to shame. I have really appreciated the patient guides. They let us have all the Kodak moments we wanted. I want to thank Joan, Janice and Ellen who gave us an adventure on the ladies ride I will long remember."
Tom Polk continued, "I have enjoyed the scenery and diversity here. The scenery is spectacular and this jamboree is very different from the others. It is small and friendly. We are definitely coming back. One of the things I like about attending jamborees is that you get to meet people from all walks of life. The thing is, you begin with one common interest, riding ATVs. The camaraderie is really great."
Another first time attendee to the jamboree was Lynn Williams from Toquerville, Utah. Lynn said, "This has been a great experience. I have been to a lot of jamborees and this is by far the best. The size of this one is perfect. A rider does not get lost in the shuffle like the big ones."
As soon as the annual jamboree ended, the club began work to plan next year's festivities. Locals are welcome to ride any day, for a small fee to cover the guide service, and to participate in any other of the activities. Dinners are offered each evening following the rides, and prizes and drawings are held.