Summer camps spur imagination, learning

July 13, 2012
by Marie Nesmith
The Daily Tribune News, Cartersville, Georgia

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 bartowhistorymuseum.org.

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BARTOW HISTORY MUSEUM