History museum offers pirate camp during winter break

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The Daily Tribune News


The Caribbean isn’t the only place filled with pirates.

Young pirates will be sailing into Cartersville next month during the weeklong Bartow Buccaneers Winter Break Camp 2015 at the Bartow History Museum.

“Winter can be a hard time to have a break from school,” said Kelly Watters, manager of programs for the museum. “It is cold and wet, and kids can’t play outside as much. Camp is a wonderful alternative to staying at home with a babysitter. Winter camp at Bartow History Museum is a great way for kids to get out, meet new friends, learn new, fun games and use their creativity.”

The camp for ages 5 to 11 will be Feb. 17-20 from 9 a.m. to noon, and due to the varied winter break dates for Bartow County schools this year, parents can sign up their children for individual days or the whole week, according to the museum’s website.

Watters said the museum did a one-day pirate event in 2013 but hasn’t done a weeklong pirate camp for winter break before.

“It was very well-received, and the campers had a blast,” she said. “We want to make this entertaining camp experience available to a new group of children.”

Pirates are “such a fun and age-appropriate theme” for kids in this age group, Watters said.

“We are able to make pirate scavenger hunts, stories, games, even pirate snacks, and the campers love getting into character,” she said. “I am so excited for these pirate games and crafts. Over several days, campers will make their own pirate outfit complete with hooks for picking up treasure, eye patches to add a level of difficulty for walking the plank, pirate hats and spy glasses to hunt out treasure.”

One new activity added to this camp, which will be run by two or three trained museum education employees and a junior volunteer, is a group project, Watters said.

“Over four days, campers get to work together to build their own pirate island,” she said. “They even get to challenge each other in a sea battle and go on a treasure hunt.”

The young campers “really seem to enjoy the pirate costume-making the most,” Watters said.

“They love to play the pirate games dressed as their own unique pirate character,” she said.

The museum offers a winter break camp every year and tries to develop a different theme for each.

“Last year, it was fun Olympics because of the Winter Games; the year before, we did Crafting the Past,” Watters said. “We make sure that each camp theme is full of interactive games and crafts.”

Each camp usually has nine to 12 children attending, Watters said.

“However, our recent programs have been filling to capacity,” she said. “We can accommodate up to 15 children per camp. We like to keep the camp group relatively small so that the children are able to make friends and receive one-on-one attention from camp leaders.”

The cost of the camp is $18 a day or $72 for the week for museum members and $20 a day or $80 for the week for non-members, the website said.

The deadline to register for the camp is Monday, Feb. 9, but if it doesn’t fill up, the museum will take registrations until Feb. 13. To register, parents should call 770-387-2774.



June 5, 2012

Great Locomotive Chase revisited

The tale of the Great Locomotive Chase connects Bartow County to a significant part of the Civil War.

There’s the role local hero Uriah Stephens played, there are the many stops made in Bartow County by the General and the trains that pursued it, and there is the small triumph of thwarting James Andrews and the Union army.

“When you look at the facts, you can see why Bartow County is the heart of the chase,” said local historian and author Joe Head. “I’ve been advocating for years that we in Bartow County have not taken enough credit for our role. You cannot deny that the most thrilling and important part of the chase happened in Bartow County. I think it gives us bragging rights.”

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July 13, 2012

Summer camps spur imagination, learning

At the Bartow History Museum, its summer camp program is in full swing, with its next, and final, offering slated for July 24 to 27. With openings still available, the Time Travelers camp is geared for ages 7 to 11 and costs $90 for BHM members and $100 for nonmembers.

“This is the one camp that we do that utilizes almost every exhibit in the Bartow History Museum,” said Charity Chastain, BHM’s manager of programs. “We start with Cherokee life. We talk about the Cherokee being here in the 1800s, where do they come from, what did they live like, what do they eat, what happened to them — just kind of their daily life, their games, their toys, every aspect.

“Then we move into pioneers because that carries over a little bit with the Cherokee as well. And we compare and contrast the two because they were very similar. They were also very different but they were very similar. Then we move into the Civil War and from there our next main feature is World War II and then we end with the ’50s and ’60s. And all of those are [Georgia Performance Standards] from kindergarten to the fifth grade. [For example], in kindergarten they have to know about pioneer life. In second and fourth grade, they have to know about the Cherokee.”

While every day will include various talking points, Chastain said it is important to combine fun with learning at the camp.

“We kick off each day with a little discussion about what we’re learning about that day, try to do a little bit of a lecture-style setting,” Chastain said. “It doesn’t usually last more than about 20 minutes because we want to get more into the fun part. Then like with the Cherokee, for instance, we’ll talk about how they lived, their toys and games and things like that. And then the kids are going to go straight into making crafts that the Cherokee would have made whether it’s a toy or making a game and all those things, of course, they get to keep.

“And the same thing [applies] with pioneer and then into World War II. When we talk about some more serious things in World War II, they do a lot of hands-on rationing activities, where they’re doing math. And they’re learning about when you went to the grocery store with your ration book, what was life like and they actually get a photo copy of a ration book that belongs to someone in Bartow County. So we try to utilize the supplies we have here in our archives and our resources as well.”

To enroll children in the Time Travelers camp, adults need to contact the BHM — 4 E. Church St. in Cartersville, under the bridge — at 770-382-3818, ext. 6288. For more information, visit