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Categories: From the Pick & Shovel Gazette

 Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Getting Back To The Buzzard’s Outing Playbook

Participants get so much more than just gold at events

by Dominic Ricci

Getting Back To The Buzzard’s Outing Playbook
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Getting Back To The Buzzard’s Outing Playbook 

By Dominic Ricci 

Participants get so much more than just gold at events 

Yes! You will get gold! All the participants share a split of the gold that is recovered in the outing common operation. Want more? There is usually a little picker or vial with some fines (small pieces of gold) that you walk away with as well. Many participants like to label their vials so they can remember all the fun they had for years to come. 

“Dominic! Dominic! I got something to show you!” Those were the words I heard as I was recently walking past the Stanton Opera House during the April Easter Outing. It was Russel Morton, a proud LDMA member. When he caught up to me he whipped out a little pouch. 

“This is the Mother Lode of bags,” he said. 

I quickly recognized two large nuggets (he had pulled the #1 draw at two of the past national outings), and a bunch of vials with gold in them. “This is my special pouch that I keep all my Outing gold in, and I wanted to show you.” 

For Russel, his Mother Lode bag is filled with memories of people, education, fun, laughs (somehow, he got taped to a tree in the middle of camp one year), and happiness. 

Like Russel, many outing participants like to display the gold they get from each outing they attend. 

Who can participate? 

GPAA/LDMA National Outings are open to anyone (participants must be at least 16 years old to receive a split of the gold). Even though we host the outings on our exclusive LDMA Camp Properties, this is the time for all to come and enjoy the events and festivities. 

This year we are focusing on getting the outings back to the way they were operated by our founder, George “Buzzard” Massie. If you’ve ever watched any of his TV episodes, he talked about us noncommercial gold miners being the “Pick and Shovel” people. We need to get back to those roots and “prospect, prospect, prospect” to find more gold. Whether we have a tractor or not, the main aspect is to teach participants how to find gold. Then we can start up the “bucket brigade” and move some material. 

We always hope to find a good amount of gold, but no matter what, in the end, every participant will walk away with gold and golden memories!

There is an outing crew there to help at any time. There will be equipment set up ready to run material, but we encourage you to bring your own equipment, too. We are there to help you learn how to effectively run your equipment as well. Plus, you can run your own material when not on the common dig shift. 

Education is also available. Subjects change from outing to outing, depending on the region we are in. Take advantage by learning as much as you can. 

Invite people to participate with you and make it a family adventure, or friends getting their gold on. Some recent participants share a few thoughts from the recent Stanton Outing: 

Kathy Tipton has been a regular at many National Outings. When asked why, she smiled and said, “You go to an outing more for the camaraderie — meeting other prospectors and giving you another opportunity to go to another LDMA Camp that you haven’t seen before. Knowing there are people there that know the area and will help you get a better understanding of that region.” 

John Rossi added, “Outings are at least 50 percent social, with the opportunity to do some work and get a share of the gold in the end.” 

John’s wife, Lynn Rossi, had to jump in and share, “Most first-timers to an outing think about the gold they are going to get. They are excited! Then by the end of the outing, after all the hard shoveling, they reflect and replay in their mind all the wonderful people they met, what they learned from everyone, laugh at a few jokes, but feel a part of a big family.” 

I hope to see you at an outing or two this year! 

Reserve your spot today! Invite a friend to reserve a spot as well. This will be a party as we unearth gold and you collect your stake. For more information, call Membership Services at 800-551- 9707. 

Remaining 2017 National Outing Schedule: 


  • LDMA BLUE BUCKET, Oregon: Aug. 18-22. Solar eclipse is Aug. 21. 
  • LDMA BURNT RIVER, Oregon: Sept. 13-17
  • LDMA LOUD MINE, Georgia: Sept. 20-24
  • LDMA STANTON, Arizona: Nov. 1-6 


Dominic Ricci is the Executive Director of Operations for GPAA/LDMA and can be reached at 800-551-9707, ext. 163, or by email:


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