It’s called a ‘Rondy’

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  • Camaraderie and storytelling go hand and hand at the annual rendezvous or "rondy." From the left are Doug Siedenburg of Califon, Mike Sharp of Vernon, and Chester Davis of Manalapan.

  • Rob Rysdeck of Jefferson is shown during target practice with his muzzleloader. Sparks and lots of smoke are part of the exercise.

  • Vernon resident Karen Ferlauto of Lake Wanda is shown during target practice. Sparks can be seen in the air below the musketþÄôs muzzle.

  • Shown crossing the field in the center of the campsite are Vernon residents Karen Ferlauto of Lake Wanda, and Henry and Marcia DiGuilio of the Highland Lakes.

  • Re-enactor "Buffalo Man" Frank Diraimondo of Oakland spent much of the week firing his musket as well as relaxing by a campfire. This is the Garden State Black Powder AssociationþÄôs 20th anniversary as an organization.

Marking their 20th anniversary as an organization, the Garden State Black Powder Association spent the week at Elmer Platz’s Mount Vernon Farm on Wawayanda Mountain off Highland Lakes Road.

The rendezvous or “rondy” is an annual tradition.

Dozens of members of the organization enjoyed decent weather for most of the week, as their early-1800s tents and lean-tos were erected near each other in a small field in the woods. In addition to firing muskets and shooting arrows, throwing tomahawks and sheath knives at targets in the woods, just spending time together was fun for the members and their families. Though much of the week was focused on camaraderie and friendship.

GSBPA members and their families were dressed as Americans did prior to the 1840s throughout the week. According to their Website (, “The Garden State Black Powder Association is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote and celebrate America’s colonial history from 1740 through 1840. Our members are a diverse group who enjoy shooting traditional black powder weapons, along with practicing many other primitive disciplines. Our club is as much an educational organization as it is a fun, recreational one.”

— Photos by Chris Wyman

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