At the 2018 Rendezvous, Gerry Washack of LeRaysville, left, shows his pistol to Skip Daniels of Harding and Ed Radzinski of Lehman. This year, EMPO requires attendees to wear face masks when social distancing isn’t feasible.

It’s always been the mission of the Endless Mountains Primitive Outdoorsmen to preserve and share the ways of early American living.

This weekend, the organization’s Endless Mountains Muzzleloader Rendezvous Shoot & Artisan Show just does that when it returns for its 12th year at American Legion Post 510 in Black Walnut.

“You can come to see what it would have been like to live in that time period,” said EMPO President Alan Superko.

This year’s Rendezvous is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Competitions in tomahawk throwing, woods walk shooting, archery, pistol shooting, long gun shooting and novelty shooting will take place over both days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with prizes awarded after closing on Sunday.

For kids, the Rendezvous offers free instruction on black powder rifle shooting.

“We have a lot of vendors coming,” Superko added. This gives collectors an opportunity to browse a variety of goods, including handcrafted items.

The nonprofit organization, which has around 130 members, focuses on education, recreation and preservation of the skills and lifestyles of early America.

Don’t be surprised to see participants wearing regalia appropriate to these times in history. A lot of primitive living enthusiasts also camp overnight.

“It’s a good time,” Superko said. For him, the best part is meeting people with common interests and striking up conversations. “The camaraderie is what gets you when you go to one of these events.”

Everyone entering the Rendezvous will receive a leaflet outlining the event’s safety requirements for COVID-19, among other information.

EMPO asks you to stay home if you are showing symptoms, returned from another country in the past two weeks, or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

The Rendezvous also requires guests over the age of 2 to wear a face mask when maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others isn’t possible, except when eating. EMPO also asks those in attendance to sanitize their hands frequently at stations placed throughout the venue.

Organizers don’t believe that staying within the 250-person limit for outdoor gatherings will be an issue.

Superko said they have been watching the COVID-19 crisis closely. Back in June, EMPO had to cancel its Scholarship Shoot, which raises money for its high school scholarship fund.

Based on the current guidelines and status of the virus locally, they believe it’s appropriate to hold the Rendezvous this weekend.

“We decided to proceed with caution,” he said.

The response to the event has been enthusiastic and Superko expects a positive turnout, including from people out of state.

Attendees under 16 get in for free. Admission for anyone 16 and over is $3, which covers both days. Superko encouraged anyone planning on camping to pre-register online at

Proceeds from the Muzzleloader Rendezvous will benefit local historical sites.

For more information, visit the EMPO website, call Nick Superko at 570-721-5209, or email

Staff Writer

Brooke joined the Wyoming County Press Examiner staff as a reporter in December of 2018 after graduating... Read More...

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