14 Apr

Historical society to host history c

by ASHLEY WOLSTONCROFT

Students will get to watch history come to life. The Henryetta Historical Society is planning a potential summer camp for young people to learn more about their community. The idea was discussed by acting docent Thomas Hudson at the Historical Society board meeting last week. “One of the things I’ve experienced as I’ve been watching this museum is that people come in there for research purposes. When I see someone walking by, it gives me a chance to ask them to come in and sign my guestbook,” Hudson said. “Through that, I met a couple of young ladies who taught me about a history club they had formed at school. Some of those young people who visited the museum have come back and asked if there was anything they could do to help out. They are willing and they want to learn.” Consequently, Hudson came up with an idea. “Summer camps have always been successful. Once I get confirmation to set dates, I’ll start inviting people to attend the camp,” he said. The pending dates are waiting on approval from Governor Mary Fallin’s office. Hudson hopes to take the campers on a field trip to visit the capitol. “I want to have where we accept 16 students, and each day of the week-long camp there will be a theme. There will be a small fee for an individual membership to the museum, but they’ll also get lunch everyday. There will be a tent set up outside, and there will be something interesting each day,” Hudson said “People will volunteer to come down and speak on a history topic. The first day will be like an orientation to learn about the museum, and the rest of the week there will be fun events to let the community know what is going on.”
One of those events includes tours that will be hosted by the campers and open to the public. “At the end of the day we’ll critique how well they did, because I’ve learned everyday what to do and not to do, and what to say and how to say it to seem credible. The key thing is that the young people are going to run the museum and the adults will oversee it,” Hudson said. At the end of the camp, campers will receive a certificate of recognition. “If you don’t study history, then you’re destined to repeat it. History is also instrumental because you can learn from the past, live in today and plan for tomorrow,” Hudson said. “I think we need to engage the young people in the sense of history with what Henryetta has here: to learn history, to feel history.” The Historical Society board will be working with history educator Kent Lackey to create an application process and finalize details. Other plans for youth include forming a historic society club. “I’ve been talking about getting youth involved in the museum for some time now and came up with the idea of why don’t we do something like this,” President Mike Doak said. “We’re going to try to team up with the history club at school to get a few kids involved with the museum and allow them to help out with things.” The board also discussed bringing more history events to the schools, including an event to celebrate the Oklahoma Land Run anniversary, or dressing up as historic Henryetta figures and learning about their lives. To see more events and happenings of the Henryetta Historic Society, visit henryettamuseum.com.