By Angela Matlashevsky, Caldwell Perspective
The event began with a potluck and the honoring of one of the Society’s members. Then began the games! The first to compete were wee tykes who threw stones in the braemar, or open stone throw. Each contestant chose a stone to chuck across the open of the College of Idaho amphitheater, trying to get it as far as possible. Distance is measured where the stones first touch the ground as they have a tendency to bounce across the grass. After the braemar came the caber toss in which competitors lift a large wooden pole off the ground and throw forward in an attempt to get the top of the pole to touch the ground; one truly has to see it to believe it.
David Peckham, a real-life heavy games competitor, was present at the games to teach us the rules and show off his own skills. The games were modified to fit the age and skill levels of the competitors (most of them were children, after all) but Peckham was more than happy to share the intensity of real Highland games. Braemar stones, for instance, can weight up to 26 pounds in the men’s division and cabers (the poles) can reach anywhere from 11-20 feet in height!
All in all, the evening was a fun and exciting one of culture, education, and flying projectiles. Thanks to Nathelle Oates and Robin, who welcomed me warmly and let me join in the fun!
The Scottish American Society of Canyon County gathers every 4th Tuesday of the month at the College of Idaho and holds their summer events outdoors. David Peckham competes in various competitions around Idaho as part of the Scottish American Athletic Association. You can find more information on Facebook at “Scottish American Society of Canyon County, Idaho” or on the web at saaa-national.org