UMPQUA — Clan is gaelic for children. The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn. Sgian-dbuh is the name of the black knife worn in the kilt hose.

Those were a few of the things people were able to learn on Saturday as 19 different clans gathered on the grounds at Henry Estate Vineyard for the 27th annual Douglas County Highland Games and Clan Gathering.

Many of those clans were visited by children who were trying to get stamps for their passport and get answers to questions.

“We do other festivals and this is the only one that has questions,” Diane Gragg of Clan Gregor said. “It gets the kids going to different booths and that gets the parents into the booths and gets them asking questions. And that’s what the clans are here for — to educate people.”

Children who visited all the clans received a special coloring book from the Douglas County Celtic Society.

At Clan Gordon, children would receive even more games from word searches to crosswords to paper dolls of highland games athletes complete with caber, kilt, whiskey and sheaf toss.

John Gordon, vice president of House of Gordon, had information about scholarships and the epic project at his booth. The clan encourages youth to continue in the Scottish Arts, which include bagpiping, Highland drumming, Highland dance, Scottish heavy athletics and Gaelic language study.

It’s the second year the games and clan gathering were held at the winery. Gordon, who flew in from Austin, Texas, called the vineyard “a spectacular looking venue.”

Mason James, a 13-year-old from Rogue River, was the only youth competitor in Saturday’s edged weapons competition. The edged weapons competition requires participants to throw knives, an ax, a spear, shoot a bow, and a sword competition.

“I just like the fact that you compete and get rewarded for it,” the eighth grader said, who also competes in baseball and football.

Mason’s favorite activity is ax throwing, which he practices once a month with a club called Rogue Axe.

“Not many people do it, it’s unique,” Mason’s mother Sarah James said.

For the James’ it’s more about family than competition. Sarah James competes in the edged weapons competition, as does her father and two of her sons. Mason’s brother, Sam, did not compete Saturday but will compete Sunday in his batman kilt.

The edged weapons competition and the heavy athletics competition in Douglas County also mark the end of the series competition, which means winners for the overall series will be crowned Sunday.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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