History camps make learning fun

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2011

By Katie Scarvey
It’s become one of Salisbury’s favorite traditions: Summer History Camp at Rowan Museum.
This year was the eleventh for the camps, which allow third through fifth graders and middle school students the opportunity to explore many different aspects of the history of Rowan County.
This year, there were five sessions — four with a colonial theme and one with a Civil War theme.
The camps, are “hands on, touching and living history,” says Kaye Brown Hirst. Rowan Museum director.
“These campers will remember all they’ve learned in camp during their history lessons this year at school, because they’ve been immersed in it and touched it.
“They’ve seen and worn colonial clothing, written with real ink and a pointed feather quill, dipped candles, peeled vegetables and apples and cooked over an open fire. They smelled it, stirred it and tasted it before eating it for lunch.”
Campers also carried firewood and buckets of water, planted seeds and watered with a dipper gourd with water from a wooden bucket. They shredded paper and used fiber, leaves and flowers to make paper.
They wove on lap looms, spool knitters and on the big rug loom at the Old Stone House.
They brought in old family photos, some from several generations back, to the late 1800s, and studied them and learned from them.
“The only games allowed were of the period camp they were in, be it colonial or Civil War,” Hirst said.
The camps, Hirst says, make history come off the page for participants.