Summer school break is approaching, which means my days at Rush Henrietta High School are almost finished for the school year. But that doesn’t mean I’m done teaching! Besides my work for the RH School district, I’m also the lead teacher for the Landmark Society’s summer history day camp, Pioneer Days. I really look forward to spending time at the Stone-Tolan House Museum, surrounded by my favorite things.
One of the things I like best about Pioneer Days is that it mixes two of my favorite things: History and Teaching.
Okay, three things: History, Teaching and Kids.
Okay, four things: History, Teaching, Kids, and Crafts.
I just love getting to spend the warm part of the year outside walking kids through what I am passionate about. There is nothing like helping a group of kids piece together a part of history whether they are physically doing so with an artifact or mentally doing so as they make a realization about history that hits home with them.
The great thing about Pioneer Days is instead of just a small chunk of class time, I get to spend a whole week with a group of kids. This gives us a chance to dive into parts of pioneer life that we wouldn’t get an opportunity to otherwise. In school or even during a field trip, kids can get an overview of what life might be like. But, at Pioneer Days, we have much more time to spend on what the kids are interested in. We get to dig in the dirt, put artifacts together, come up with stories about what life might have been like, and make smaller versions of what they used in their homes.
Another great aspect is life at camp is very flexible. If a group of campers a particular week are interested in anthropology, we spend more time working with artifacts; if they are interested in domestic skills, we spend more time sewing and learning about how to run a house 19th century style; if they are more interested in how a whole homestead worked, we spend more time working with tools. Each week the program varies just as the campers vary.
If you know a kid that’s currently in 3rd through 6th grade, it’s not too late to register for Pioneer Days. We’re offering five different weeks of fun. Check out all the details on our website at www.landmarksociety.org. Just scroll down on the home page, and you’ll find the Camp article.
Just be warned, that kid may come away with a list of favorite things similar to mine: history, teaching, kids, crafts – and Pioneer Days!
Posted by Anna Worden, Lead Teacher, Pioneer Days Camp