Young campers get a taste of life in the ‘olden days’

9 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Presque Isle Historical Society recently offered its first annual Summer History Camp for Kids, designed for ages 8-12.  This first year was made possible by grants from the Agnes Lindsay Trust and the Simmons Foundation.

 The camp ran from July 20-24, based at the Campus Center at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Participants were engaged in local history, which increased their knowledge of the community and sense of community pride, built social skills and character, and taught cooperation and fair play.  The camp offered a safe environment for children while being fun, informative, educational and interactive.

Ten campers ranging in age from 8-11 experienced guided tours of the 1875 Vera Estey House Museum, the James School and the Presque Isle Air Base Museum, and enjoyed a citywide tour aboard Molly the Trolley.

Wednesday was “farm day,” during which the campers made whipped cream and butter, candled an egg, got a hands-on potato picking demonstration, and toured Chase’s Organic Dairy in Mapleton.  Other hands-on activities during the week included 19th-century children’s games, the traditions of Victorian Christmas including ornament making, candle-making, and corn husk dolls.

On Friday, campers thoroughly enjoyed the up-close look at the Civil War with the Society’s artifacts and a local Civil War re-enactor in full uniform.  Also on Friday was the formal “Victorian” etiquette luncheon, during which some of the campers realized for the first time that “there were rules for eating!”

For more information on Presque Isle Historical Society, its tours and programs or to make a tax-deductible donation,  The society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1963, whose mission is to study, promote and preserve the history, culture, heritage and physical artifacts of Presque Isle for present and future.