HELENA — A group of Helena kids got their hands dirty in Tenmile Creek while learning about Montana's history.
Gold put Helena on the map, and Montana’s history still flows through the waters of Tenmile Creek.
“We cross a ditch up here that the miners made in the 1860’s. It was there before Montana was actually a state,” said Tim Coulter, the owner of Capital City Prospecting.
Coulter provides the equipment, demonstration and guidance to help people find gold. This includes where to find the best dirt, how to separate it in the water and how to capture the gold for safekeeping.
For over 10 years Coulter has been teaching people how to pan for gold. On Friday, kids from Little Angel Daycare and Preschool’s Summer Program experienced this centuries-old adventure.
“It’s not difficult. the whole process is separating the heavy stuff from the light stuff,” Coulter said.
Muriel Stracener from Little Angel said they love trying new things like this and will definitely be coming back to experience this again.
“We want them to always try new things, be open to trying new things. and that’s why we want to expose them to all different opportunities,” Stracener said.
The kids had a blast being outside.
“I like playing in water,” camper, Austyn Smith said.
“Panning for gold is fun,” camper, Lincoln Caldwell said.
The kids even found some gold of their own to take home. While the campers may not have struck it rich in the traditional sense, the experience of partaking in a time-honored tradition that helped found Helena in the first place is worth its weight in gold.