Monday, October 3, 2011

Frontier Culture Museum

If you live in or near the Shenandoah Valley, or if you are going to be traveling through the area a MUST do field trip is the Frontier Culture Museum.   You can schedule group field trips or do a family trip.

This past week was homeschooler day (lower rates, and extra things to do).  My kids LOVED it.   We got to see lots of friends, some that we didn’t even know were homeschooling until we ran into them.  We were fortunate as well to be in a position to help someone while there.  We found a lost younger sibling of one of Olivia’s baseball teammates from several years ago.  She recognized Lindsey (they have ballet on the same day) and came over and said she couldn’t find her mom.  Some 30 minutes later, I’d found her panic stricken mom and siblings and reunited the family.  

Our first stop was at the Igbo village.  90% of the slaves brought to America were from this tribe and so the museum wanted to include their history.   Olivia loved working in the yam fields, Lindsey as usual was more of the “home body” and preferred working in Wife #1’s summer kitchen.

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Then we moved on to the English farm.  The girls worked in the kitchen grating bread to make fritters.  We moved into the parlor where the girls were shown how to card wool and prepare it for spinning.  We then headed out into the yard to play ring toss.

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The Irish farm was our next stop.  The girls love the pigs and chickens, although I personally wouldn’t be too thrilled about having the pigpen right outside my front door.  Then we went inside to grind oats for flour, do a little house keeping and see how flax is weaved to make linen.

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The German farm is a favorite with the girls.  I’m not sure why, but they could spend the day there!  Lindsey loves taking the flax through the process from “weed” to fibers for spinning.

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As we landed in the frontier of Virginia, the girls stopped to help build a log cabin and take lesson on loading and firing a musket.

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What’s the frontier without and Indian?  Not much.  We visited the new Indian wigwam, and met a truly fascinating (white guy), who was very knowledgeable about making bows and arrows, hunting and herbs.  The fact that he reminded me of Mel Gibson in Braveheart made it a favorite of mine….but he used the word “groovy” several times which totally ruined my fantasy of him.  (Just being real.)

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Anyway, back to the American frontier!  We visited two houses that would have been upgrades from the log cabin.  The girls helped make homemade egg noodles and watched some wood work.

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We ended our day at a visit to the market place.  Their were various artisans on-site, anxious to show their skills and sell their wares.

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As you see, there are LOTS of things to see, do and learn while visiting the Frontier Culture Museum.  Like I said, it’s a MUST do field trip.  For those who live close, they also have a week long summer camp for kids!

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