LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The 100 fourth to sixth graders who attended the Children’s Museum of Art and Science science camp on Saturday, May 4, had some unexpected company.
While learning about the Ely Stage Stop and checking out the three quarter sized stage coach, Lake County’s most talkative handsome highwayman, John “Bent Nose” Parker, showed up in chaps, mask, hat and a gun to relieve passengers of their valuables and take away the strong box.
After negotiating their freedom, students went on to other stations manned by costumed Lake County Historical Society docents where they made butter and washed clothes with an old-fashioned washboard and bar of soap.
When it came time for students to move to the next station, a large bell was rung. This bell, which now hangs on the Stage Stop porch, was from the Henderson ranch in Kelseyville and was rung to signal meal times for the hands as well as signify an emergency situation.
The other activity stations at Ely included a chance to dissect owl pellets. Shula Shoup and Tracy Mostin reminded students that owl pellets are like cat hairballs; owls cough up what they cannot digest, the hair, fur and bones of their prey. Students used charts to identify the skulls and bones in the pellets.
Anthropologist Doug Prather demonstrated how to make arrowheads and Lori Anthony and Sarah Fred taught students how to play a Native American gambling game. Students guessed which hand held a small rock and if they were correct, they won a “horse” (a decorated stick).
After a delicious lunch provided by the Rotary Clubs of Lake County, students headed for the new barn for an hour long raptor show sponsored by the Redbud Audubon Society.
Jenny Papka from Native Bird Connections brought four rescued raptors, a kestral and three owls. Students were enthralled by the birds and obviously enjoyed the chance to see the see amazing creatures up close and personal. They had many good questions for Ms. Papka.
For the second half of their day students were bussed to the Taylor Observatory in Kelseyville. Here Barbara McIntyre presented a show in the planetarium.
Billy Gear and Carrieann Lopez directed hands-on time with microscopes looking at local pond creatures. Kinene Barzin had hand bells and percussion instruments outside under the trees where students learned the melody and rhythm for two songs.
This free day long camp was the seventh annual camp hosted by the Children’s Museum of Art and Science.
Students from every school district as well as charter schools and home schooled students were invited.
CMAS deeply appreciates the support of its partners the Lake County Office of Education, the Redbud Audubon Society and the Lake County Historical Society. Foods Etc graciously provided water and snacks. Boy Scout Troop 44 helped direct morning traffic. Teens from the Kelseyville High School Interact Club assisted in groups and activity stations. Many adult volunteers made this an educational, exciting and fun day for all.
Carolynn Jarrett is president of the Children’s Museum of Art and Science.