Inspired by a Ct Post article about how parents are scaling back on the summer camp experience for their kids (but not eliminating it entirely), this economically tough summer:

My family, growing up, wasn't the 'summer camp' type of family (though my brothers went camping at Treasure Valley, that being boy scouts related). Lower Middle Class, and all that. But even I got to have a day camp experience at Old Sturbridge Village. They called them 'Summer Shops' back then (mid-late '70s); now they call them Discovery Camps. For someone who'd grown up in an historic house, just down the street from a 3-story historic tavern, whose parents appreciated antiques (as they'd gotten some before antiques'd become 'in', and big business), a week of daily fun activities at Old Sturbridge Village sure hit the spot. I'm trying to remember if I did one, or two, on consecutive summers - I think it was two. One centered on fiber arts, the other on decorative arts. Now they design them according to more general themes, rather than centered around the tech of the time.

Heh, fun as it was to get to dress in the period costumes and run around the common a bit, with the tourists ooing and ahhing at us, one of the highlights was getting to hang out (most of the time) at the very cool Museum Education Center. That was a classic late 60s-early 70s building, and I'd be interested in finding out the architect, as it was pretty amazing.

It was concrete, a myriad wooden beams and large windows (which birds hit regularly, so they had to tape those bird silhouettes made from black paper on the windows to try to prevent that), a bizarre, mostly open-plan type of place, with angled walkways circling up and around, these little landing areas, like little pods (suitable for little meeting areas), and on the ground floor level, areas set aside for activities like cookery (fully functional fireplace), weaving, arts, &tc. The building shell had offices, bathrooms, &tc. Man, I would like to go back there even today...that was an incredibly cool space for a little kid to run around in. Heh.

Oh, my. Nostalgia.

Much as I'm ambivalent about the direction that OSV went in order to survive the past couple of decades (many fewer interpreters in general, more emphasis on special events, more static exhibits due to the lesser example is to have play areas geared towards toddlers and many fewer interpreters to awe the kiddies)...I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them, due to having attended their Summer Shops and having worked there myself as an interpreter during my college summers.

So, hey, if your kid(s) like old fashioned stuff, consider OSV's summer day camp or at least drop by for a visit this Summer.


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