SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
by Christina DiMartino
The Charleston Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, proudly lays claim to the fact that it is America’s First Museum. Founded in 1773, the museum has as its mission preserving and interpreting the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry.
The museum’s camp programs take kids back in time to learn about creatures, customs, and cultures throughout history. Campers explore the museum’s collections to learn about Ancient Egypt, dinosaurs, pirates (the boys in the photo are hoisting pirate flags), and more. The summer camp programs at the Dill Sanctuary on James Island bring kids close to the earth as they explore nature.
Down and dirty fun
Stephanie Thomas, education coordinator for the museum, told Parent USA City that kids get down and dirty at the Charleston Museum's Dill Sanctuary during the Nature Trailer Summer Camp.
“The Dill Sanctuary is a 580-acre wildlife sanctuary located on James Island along the Stono River,” says Thomas. “Summer campers explore creatures of the marsh and track animals along the trail. They learn about archaeology, animals, life in a marsh, Native Americans, and much more. Kids collect fiddler crabs, and they make crafts to take home. These and other camp programs are designed to educate, entertain, inspire, and excite kids.”
The museum offers four Nature Trailer Summer Camp programs, beginning in June. The programs run for five days. Crafts, activities, and snack are all included in the program.
Not so dirty, but downright fun
Summer camp programs are also offered on site at the Charleston Museum. The two, one-week sessions engage kids in all that the museum has to offer, including exploring the past—from the time that dinosaurs roamed the earth—to the Civil War, and everything in between.
Spring blooms at Charleston Museum
Spring break camps at the Charleston Museum take kids to the Dill Sanctuary. The program for three days during the third week of April, and you can sign your child up for individual days or for all three.
“Each day includes different themes,” says Thomas. “This program is a great way to keep your kids excited while they’re learning about nature.”
Patriot for a day
The museum's Patriots Day Camp is for ages 8-12. Kids begin their adventure into colonial life in the Great Hall of the Old Exchange building. Here they learn to dance the minuet and then travel to the dungeon to see where tea was hidden and patriots were imprisoned during the Revolution. Next, they enlist in the Continental Army at the Powder Magazine where they learn military drills and make a musket cartridge. The journey continues to the 1772 Heyward-Washington House, where campers meet Hannah, an indentured servant. Hannah shares the details of her life as kids explore the house and kitchen building while nibbling on colonial cooking.
Many kinds of family fun
The Charleston Museum coordinators are dedicated to enhancing multi-generational parenting styles by bringing kids and their parents and grandparents together to explore and learn through numerous family programs.
Kid Tours, designed for all ages, is a series that highlights artifacts from the museum’s collection that have fascinated children for years. Kid Tours meet the first Wednesday of every month at 3:30 p.m., and each tour includes a craft project or activity. During June and July, Kid Tours run weekly. All Kid Tours are free for Museum members and free with admission.
Once a month on Saturday, the museum offers a Family Fun Events program dedicated to providing an educational and exciting experience for the entire family. Each month offers a different themed event including presentations and craft projects for children of all ages. Themes include archaeology, historic crafts, animals, and more. All Family Fun Events are free for Museum members and free with admission.
Toddler Days are for ages 18 months to 3 years. These classes are designed for toddlers and a parent, grandparent, or friend to play and explore in The Charleston Museum. Each program includes four craft projects as well as finger paints, a puppet stage, a sandbox, and more. Classes meet on specific Wednesdays 10-11 a.m.
Hands on History Workshops are for ages 5 and up (unless otherwise specified). This series of workshops features an in-depth activity with a local artisan and a specialized tour of Museum collections. Check the museum’s calendar of events for dates and prices.
Christina DiMartino has been a freelance and assignment writer since 1985. She is a researcher, interviewer, writer, editor, and manuscript collaborator with a repertoire of clients from around the world.
Photos courtesy of The Charleston Museum