Hosted By

Santa Fe Trail Association

Bent’s Old Fort NHS

Otero Junior College

City of La Junta

Koshare Indian Museum




The 2021 Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Symposium

Bent’s Fort Chapter Event

La Junta, Colorado

September 23-26, 2021

The Santa Fe Trail Lives On:

200 Years of Commerce & Cultural Connections

Area Historical Attractions   Other Events Along the Trail Sponsors  Schedule  Speakers
Bents Fort Chapter Home

2021 Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Commemoration

Youth Symposium

September 22, 2021


The Santa Fe Trail Association-Bents Fort Chapter would like to invite students grades 6-8 and their teachers to join us for a special Youth Symposium associated with the 2021 commemoration of the Bicentennial of the opening of the Santa Fe Trail – the United States’ first international transportation and trade route.  The one-day Symposium is closely aligned with the Colorado Social Studies standards.


The Symposium is limited to 35 students plus their teachers.  A maximum of five students and one teacher may apply from any school.  If all spots are not filled, opportunities will go to the next schools on the waiting list.  


There is no cost for the Symposium, which is being funded by sponsors.  Boxed lunches, water, and hand-outs will be provided.  Schools located over 50 miles from Bent’s Old Fort National Historical Landmark may apply for a stipend to assist with the cost of travel.


9:00 am – 12:00 pm Sessions at Boggsville, Las Animas, Colorado


 Session 1 – Led by Dr. Kathy Corbett and Dr Bonnie Clark

o The SFT was an international/transcultural corridor, a history that is reflected in the material culture of Boggsville

o Architecture and Archaeology are primary sources for understanding life in the past, especially at Boggsville


 Session 2 – Led by Mike Romero Taylor and Dr. Astrid Liverman

o What are historic trails, why are some trails important enough to preserve?

o How are historic trails documented?

o What is the evidence of a historic trail, what type of artifacts are found along trails?

o Why should we preserve historic trails, and what types of preservation techniques are used?



12:00pm-12:45pm – Lunch and wrap-up of morning sessions


12:45pm-1:15pm - Travel to Bents Old Fort National Historic Landmark


1:30pm-3:30pm – Dr. Alexa Roberts and Cynthia Wiley

 Students and teachers will explore the historic context for Bent’s Fort on the Santa Fe Trail and the role of the Fort.

 This session will provide students with the opportunity to explore how primary source documents and archaeological artifacts can combine to provide a multifaceted look at the economics of Bent’s Old Fort on the Santa Fe Trail.

The individual sessions are described in greater detail here.


Special Session for Educators – Immersive Social Studies Experiences Delivered Through Technology and Creative Design


While students are attending the sessions, educators will have the opportunity to learn about new technology and approaches for teaching social studies and experiencing historic resources through a workshop conducted by professionals in the fields of archaeology/cultural resource management.  Nathan Boyless, President of Metcalf Archaeology, and his team will use their expertise in archaeology/cultural resource management, combined with emerging technology (including virtual and augmented reality) to explain how technology can be used for mapping and recording cultural heritage sites; and how immersive and interactive experiences can be created to allow students to experience historic sites.  Using their cell phones or iPads, teacher will work with the team to develop experiences at Boggsville National Historic District and Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Landmark.  These experiences will be available on the Santa Fe Trail website, Metcalf Archaeology website, and to schools.


Attached is additional information on the presenters.


For additional information or to register your school for the Youth Symposium, contact Rebecca Goodwin, at [email protected].  To register, please email Rebecca with your school name and district, name of the teacher, their contact information and number of students you want to bring (maximum 5).


For questions on how this Symposium fits into the Colorado Educational Standards, contact Tammy Ridennoure at the Rocky Ford R-2 School District.  [email protected]


Deadline for registration is May 10, 2021, slots will be filled on a first-come basis.


The Symposium is working closely with the Health Department to ensure that the Youth Symposium meets all local requirements and will provide a safe opportunity for students and teachers.