Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer Campers

Howdy, everyone. Tommy and Nolan here with a post about the archaeology summer camps at Fort St. Joseph. Throughout the field season we offer three different camps. The first camp is a lifelong learners camp; people of ages 16+ are welcome to come join us during this camp. The second camp offered is for teachers and educators looking to continue their own education. Our third and final camp is for middle school students grade 6-9, who are looking to get a taste of what archaeology is all about. Throughout the week, campers are exposed to in-class activities and field exercises directed by staff and students.
We’ve had great experiences with the campers so far. Everyone has been eager to learn, and willing to help in any way possible. Working with the campers offers us an opportunity to teach the techniques we’ve recently learned.
Last week, I, Nolan worked with a camper named Brit. Together, we did some excavating in my unit and discovered a large structural stone. I helped explain to Brit the significance of the find and how the stone can indicate a possible foundation of a wall. That experience is one that can only be shared between Brit and myself, as we were the ones who discovered the stone.
Campers and member of the public during pit tours
(Photo Credit: Tommy Nagle)

I, Tommy, got the chance to work with Barb, a middle school science teacher. We were working at the wet screen together identifying artifacts when Barb asked a question about the bones that we were finding in the screen. I was able to tell her how the occupants of the fort were mostly eating deer instead of domesticated animals like pigs, and that a lot of the bones were broken because the people living at the fort would have crushed them in order to get to the marrow. I realized how much I had learned as I was teaching Barb about these bones. Having to explain the knowledge that I've gained in a way that someone else can understand reinforces the learning that me and my classmates have already done. 

- Tommy and Nolan

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