The first week of the Osceola County Historical Society’s summer camp was a complete success and left the campers and counselors reeling with excitement for the camp sessions to continue. Diggin’ Up History was a great way to kick off this annual event and taught the kids a lot about the past. Here’s five things the kids did to stay busy, giving you a little glimpse at what it was like being a camper.
- Crafting at the Welcome Center. To enhance the campers’ understanding of past cultures and archeological techniques, they completed multiple crafts. The crafts included using clay to create pottery, reconstructing broken pottery, creating cave paintings and using pictographs to write legends. These crafts are currently on display at the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum, making it a another great reason to come tour the museum this summer.
- Learning from a Florida Public Archaeology Network speaker. Kevin Gidusko, professional archaeologist from the Florida Public Archaeology Network, taught our campers about prehistoric Florida. Campers learned about the mega fauna (giant animals) that once roamed the area, including a 19-feet-tall giant sloth. Campers also had a chance to try using atlatls, prehistoric spear-throwers used for hunting animals like mastodons.
- Participating in an archaeological dig. By conducting excavations, archaeologists find materials in layers of dirt, with older layers on the bottom and newer layers on top. The items they find lead people to the culture and structures people have left behind from the past. Successive layers may reflect entirely different time periods and cultures. Our campers got down and dirty excavating these artifacts in their very own archaeological dig. They then recorded their finds in their field journals.
- Exploring Animal Kingdom. Walt Disney World has been a major sponsor of our summer camp for the past three years through their Helping Kids Shine Grant. It is through their generosity that our campers are able to explore history in fun and dynamic ways. Walt Disney World took that generosity one step further this year and offered us tickets to Animal Kingdom for our first week of camp. On this field trip, campers visited the Animal Kingdom’s African savannah, conquered their fears on Mount Everest and met with dinosaurs face-to-face. For many campers, it was their first time at Animal Kingdom, and we had a blast exploring the park.
- Coolin' off during Water Day. During every week of camp, we celebrate summer in true Florida fashion with a “Water Day”. The highlight of the day is canoeing on historic Shingle Creek. Shingle Creek was home to many of the first peoples of Osceola County, including Native Americans and pioneers. During canoeing, campers have a chance to see what old Florida was really like. Cypress trees line the creek and animals such as egrets, turtles, ospreys and more can be glimpsed by sharp-eyed campers. The day continues with water games including a water balloon toss, wet t-shirt relay, and other fun games.
Sound like an adventure your kids would like to sign up for? Register for one of the three remaining OCHS summer camp weeks to add a little more fun to their summer!