The Menokin Visitor’s Center and Site played host for three days recently, when approximately 90 kids, ages 9 to 13, participating in the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School Summer Program, came here to learn about the house, the land and the people who have lived here.
Organized by Menokin Education Coordinator, Alice French, each student was given a field book for their notes and observations. Among other things, they learned:
- How to draw an elevation of the house
- What materials make up the house, how they are layered and why and what the size, shape, landscaping and design of the house tells us about the people who lived in it.
Students studied examples of documents recording each families’ history here.
By looking at Menokin records – census, inventories, letters – they were able to make comparisons of changing relationships to the house.
Becky Marks and Sharon Parr from the Richmond County Museum brought in an extensive collection of Indian artifacts from the tribes that inhabited Menokin and nearby areas in pre-Colonial times. The students were able to handle projectile points, pottery shards and animal skins, and learned how they were made and what purposes they served in the day to day lives of these indigenous people.
History went underground in the afternoon when the students were able to work with a team of archaeologists from DATA Investigations on actual digs happening on the property. Two test units located in close proximity of the house were established to conduct professionally supervised excavations that incorporated student involvement while pursuing established research goals of the Menokin Foundation.
Existing artifacts were also available for students to learn methods of cleaning washing those that are actually excavated from the ground.
The week ended with a gaggle of happy campers!