Rockhounds and gem collectors will be gathering at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds this weekend for the Bitterroot Gem and Mineral Society's show. The two-day event will be at the First Interstate Center May 15 and 16.

The local group is active in helping the public learn more about geology and other Earth sciences, with amateur hobby collecting, recreational rock hunting and even scholarships for students. And they are known to have a few field trips each year. Some are being planned for this year.

The show, "Treasures of the Universe," will include demonstrations of Fintknapping, Gold Panning and Jewelry Making with a roomful of displays from geology, mineralogy, paleontology, faceting and more. The club is also planning a silent auction, kids activities, the ever-popular geode-cutting, a good selection of fossils and more. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday with a $2 adult admission. Children under 12 years of age are admitted free.

Some of the money raised from the show will go toward a $750 scholarship which is awarded to a Ravalli County high school senior who is pursuing the field of Earth Science. The deadline for this year's award has passed, but next year's application deadline is March 1, 2022. Call 406 821-1743 for more information on requirements and an application form

The Bitterroot Valley group meets monthly at 121 South Tudor Street in Victor. The meetings are the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. They are affiliated with the Montana Council of Rock and Mineral Clubs, the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Society and the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies.

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