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Sanders County schools Scotchman Essay Contest winners announced

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Ernie Scherzer announces McKenna Krueger as the first place winner of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness essay contest. Ernie Scherzer announces McKenna Krueger as the first place winner of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness essay contest.

The question “Does Wilderness Have Value?” was explored by students from four Sanders County schools, who submitted essays for a contest sponsored by the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. Project coordinator Ernie Scherzer had high praise for the essays, saying he could think of few examples of student writing that could equal some of the winners. He has been a teacher, and now a school volunteer, for over 50 years, as well as advisor to a student literary magazine.


Scherzer noted that younger authors did extremely well. The contest is open to middle and high school students. McKenna Krueger, a seventh grader from Noxon, won the overall prize of a $100 savings bond and a Scotchmans cap, with a beautiful and very moving essay . Kaylie Cox, an eigth grader from Thompson Falls, took the second prize of a Scotchmans sweashirt, with another exceptional entry. Other winners were Mitchell Carpenter, a twelfth grader from Plains, and Holly Carlsmith, fifth grader from Trout Creek.

The four winning essays can be viewed at http://www.scotchmanpeaks.org/news/scotchmans-essay-contest-2009/

McKenna Krueger's winning entry

Wilderness can have various definitions to many people. But I think wilderness is a place of solitary freedom. Wilderness, in its own way, connects with things outside of humans’ environment. The unpredictable ways of the vigorous vegetation and unknown wildlife makes you feel like you are at the beginning of time. The fragrance of emptiness and the freshness of the oxygen from all the trees make you restless. And the feelings of your feet pushing against the damp surface feels like walking on a cloud suspended in the blue sky. The sounds of nature’s silence are pulled out from the surroundings like the whistle of a mountain wren and the wind whispering cold air in my ear. So to me and to others around me, wilderness is peacefulness itself in many special and unique ways. Wilderness has value and hopefully will ever more!

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Author info

Sandy Compton Sandy Compton Sandy Compton is one of the original contributors to The River Journal, and owner and publisher at Blue Creek Press (www.bluecreekpress.com). His latest book is Side Trips From Cowboy: Addiction, Recovery and the Western American Myth

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