The history behind the plywood cows

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Photo submission from Christian Klein

Tanya Baer, [email protected]

Rock Springs- It’s that time of year again when wooden cows start appearing along the sidewalks around Rock Springs and Green River. The Boy Scouts of America Troop 4’s kickoff took place on Tuesday, June 21 at 6:00 p.m. where they set up the plywood cows once again, and the cows will be staying up for roughly 6 weeks.

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This is an annual fundraiser that was created somewhere between 12 to 15 years ago and has only become increasingly popular over the years. Around 15 years ago, to advertise for the annual rodeo, there was a live stampede held downtown every year. The cow march started to become too much to handle. It was always a lot of work and there was always a big mess to clean up afterward. This is when a staff member of the Sweetwater Events Complex found a plywood cow and came up with the idea to use the plywood cow instead. The Boyscouts were contacted to build more of these cows. At the time they were not in high demand so there were only about 20 to 30 cows built. Although this fundraiser became more and more popular over the years, all creators backed away except for the Boyscouts Troop 4, who are now responsible for this event.

This is a very positive experience for the Boyscouts because they learn a lot of lessons and skills like project management, customer service, and networking. It is also a good way of bringing the community together because with how much work is needed, family members and volunteers will step in to make sure this happens and will keep on happening every year. All of the proceeds go to the scouting troop, which is a nonprofit, and it helps pay for the various expenses that the scouts have which supports our local community. “It is a way of saying scouting is still alive here in Sweetwater County,” stated Bill Ruoff.

Photo Submission from Christian Klein

Every year the scouts take the cows to the sponsors, and the sponsors get to choose how to decorate their cows. The Boyscouts will then pick up the decorated cows and put them up for the business/sponsor. A lot of businesses or sponsors choose to renew every year since they get it for half price if they choose to renew. This has been so successful since it began so now there are over a hundred cows, and the fundraiser continues to grow.

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