Museum to Offer Day Camp

Museum to Offer Day Camp

Old Independence Regional Museum is excited to offer a fun and educational day camp based on the museum’s newest exhibit “Living off the Land – Season by Season.”  “Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or go without” was a saying used by early settlers that works well to describe the theme of this camp experience.  Campers will explore what life was like on the Arkansas frontier, what it meant to live off the land in a time when families depended on the environment to meet many of their needs.  “We really want the campers to experience work and play on the Arkansas frontier.  The hands-on activities we have planned will really give them a sense of what life was like for children their age nearly 200 years ago” said Amanda Nikkel, Education and Volunteer Coordinator.

Candles were the main source of light, other than sun light, on the frontier.  But where did these candles come from?  Local beekeepers will speak about the art and science of bee keeping and how the candle wax was extracted.  Supplying a family with enough candles to last through the dark winter months was a chore that often fell to children in the early fall.  Campers will have the opportunity to dip their own candles and make a punch tin lantern to hold them. Some of the other planned activities are:  spinning, weaving, dyeing, identifying native plants and animal tracks, ice cream making, and daily chores of 19th century children.

“On each Friday, during day camp, we will focus on 19th century toys and games.  Campers will have the opportunity to make their own marbles, find out what a thaumatrope is, and take part in rolling hoop relay races and the Game of Graces.Those are just a few of fun activities that we have planned.” states Nikkel. Lunch on Friday will be a “dinner on the ground” and will be supplied by the museum.

“There was so much interest and our camp was so successful last year that we have decided to offer two camps this year”, said Nikkel.   “The first camp will be Tuesday, July 21 – Friday, July 24 and is designed for rising 3rd and 4th graders.  The second camp is for rising 5th and 6th and will be Tuesday, July 18 – Friday, July 31.  Both camps will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.”  The museum requires at least 10 children to sign up in order to hold the camp, and class size is limited to the first 30 registrants.  Campers should bring a sack lunch Tuesday – Thursday.  Each day the museum will provide a historic dessert.  Contact April White or Amanda Nikkel at 793-2121 to register.  The deadline to register is Wednesday, July 1, 2009.

Old Independence serves a 12-county area:  Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff.  Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820s Arkansas territory.

The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.