History museum offers pirate camp during winter break

Written by  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.

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