ILWACO - Wednesday starting at 9 a.m., fourth-grade students from selected Pacific and Clatsop County schools will help launch "The Vote at Station Camp Online" with special programs at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Cape Disappointment State Park.

These activities are all part of the one-year countdown to Destination: The Pacific, the nationally sanctioned Signature Event for Oregon and Washington commemorating the Lewis and Clark bicentennial.

On Nov. 24, 1805, Captains Lewis and Clark were prepared to begin their journey home by setting up a winter camp. Members of the Corps along with Sacagawea and Clark's slave, York, were polled and asked where to winter over - head east to the Sandy River and the Falls or cross and examine the south shore of the Columbia River. In addition to demonstrating the captains' management style, the vote was significant in that a black slave and Indian woman were also polled for their input.

Wednesday, Pacific County students will meet at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (LCIC) located at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco. Students will participate in a special presentation by filmmaker Ron Craig on the significance of York and The Vote. Also speaking will be James Sayce, project coordinator for the construction of the new Station Camp park, and Brock Huddleston, seventh-grade student from Washington who was instrumental in naming a new elementary school in Vancouver's Evergreen School District for York.

"Captain Clark," portrayed by Craig Rockwell, will close the session by calling upon specially selected students to cast their vote, which he will record in a journal. All students will then vote online as they depart for their schools.

The special activities on Nov. 24 kick off the Online Vote created by Destination: The Pacific as part of its one-year countdown activities. Beginning Nov. 24, anyone can log onto (www.DestinationThePacific.com) to learn about The Vote and to cast their own choice as to where to winter over. The purpose of the Online Vote is to help tell this significant story of the Lewis and Clark journey and to encourage young people to consider how that vote may have changed the history of the region and the expedition. In 2005 the online vote tallies will be included as part of the special commemoration of The Vote on Thanksgiving Day at Station Camp.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided by the American Association of University Women. Additional support provided by Cape Disappointment State Park providing free admission to school children on Nov. 24, Washington National Guard, Washington State Historical Society, Super 8 Motel in Long Beach, The Elliott Hotel in Astoria, Pacific County Friends of Lewis and Clark, and Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Association for Clatsop County.

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