Another summer has come to an end here at the Osceola County Historical Society and that means summer camp is over, too. For four very special weeks, the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum opened its doors to elementary and middle school children to participate in weekly themed summer camps. Each week immersed campers in different areas of history and the environment of Osceola County.
Diggin’ Up History Week focused on archaeology and Florida’s distant past. Survivor Osceola Week taught campers about the lifestyles of Florida’s native people and pioneering families. In Civil War Adventure Week, the children learned about the causes, effects and major players of the Civil War. In the final week of camp, History’s Mysteries Week, campers had a chance to venture into folklore and legend with a treasure hunt and Bigfoot expedition. Each week of camp was also enhanced with various professional speakers and field trips in order to really make an impact on the kids and their experience.
Such a summer camp is not possible without help from community partners. The Osceola County Historical Society was very fortunate to once again be a recipient of Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grant. In 2014, Disney awarded $3.8 million in Disney grants to 87 deserving organizations. Through the support provided by this signature giving program, Disney Grants will help Central Florida organizations build brighter futures for some 85,000 children in a variety of ways, such as securing food and shelter for families in need, empowering students to write their stories and kindling a love of music and the arts throughout Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties.
It is with Disney’s generosity that the Osceola County Historical Society’s summer camp program was able to provide need-based scholarships to half of the camp attendees. Through this unique experience, very special children had a chance to dive into local history while expanding their imaginations and creating lasting memories. Snacks and lunch were also included with the camp to help keep area children fed throughout the summer. While we were sad to see our campers go, we are also thrilled to have had the opportunity to help serve the families of Osceola County.