This week, kids enrolled at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History’s summer camp are getting their hands on history while learning about everything from the Civil War to how technology is used to discover history.
The camp was originally designed as a Time Traveler program for younger kids in the mornings this week and a History Detective program for the older kids in the afternoons, but, due to a low turnout this year, the camps were combined into one afternoon camp that includes both older and younger kids.
“What that really did was allow the kids to get the best of both worlds,” said Matt Edwards, executive director of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.
On Monday, campers learned about colonial life in Surry County.
Tuesday, the kids got to work with Eric Marshall, a Stokes County history teacher and Civil War expert.
“This was a great way for the kids to get their hands on history. We are big about making summer camps tactile and engaging. It started out with an opportunity to dress one of the kids up as a soldier to learn about what each of the components of the uniform are and how those important on the battlefield,” said
He said Marshall also brought Civil War artifacts that were found all over the state for the kids to see. He also conducted a soldier school in which the kids got to learn about rifle drills and what soldiers would have learned during basic training.
On Wednesday, the kids got to experience a Native American group from Wilkes County that spoke about their culture in the region.
On Thursday, the kids get to work on online genealogy research and historical artifact documentation.
Friday, the kids will end the week-long camp with a trip in and around Mount Airy to find geocaches, which is a digital scavenger hunt that requires a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit.
“This will be a great way for the kids to see how technology can be used to explore your local community,” said Edwards.
Edwards said he has applied for a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council that will allow the museum to do a broader geocaching program around the region. If the museum receives that grant, that program will begin in the near future, he said.
“The programming that we’ve got for the kids is a great opportunity for them to do some engaging history. When someone asked me the other day, ‘What is summer camp like for the kids at the museum?’ I said, ‘For me I envision it as all of those really cool things that you get to do every once in a while at school’ — this is a week of those. We want them to do fun, enjoyable, memorable activities so they can go back to school and brag about what they did this summer,” said Edwards. “It’s about making those lasting memories and building that sense of enthusiasm for history.”
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.