With the coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to many of its events and programs, the Western Development Museum is hosting virtual summer camps for kids.
The WDM, the largest human history museum in Saskatchewan, has branches in Yorkton, North Battleford, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.
Each branch is contributing content and materials, giving people access to online activities that will focus on educating kids on Saskatchewan history through games, stories, crafts and more.
“Each week, the camps are going to follow a Monday to Friday schedule with about two to three hours of activities planned per day,” said Karla Rasmussen, WDM education and public programs co-ordinator.
“The activities will be online primarily, but we are really encouraging kids to get out and explore the land and nature in a way that encourages critical thinking and engagement with their communities.”
Each week will have a different theme. Week 1 runs from July 13 to 17 and is titled In the Air. Week 2 runs from July 20 to 24 and is titled Daily Life in the 1910s and 1920s. Week 3, Love This Land (Nature and Saskatchewan Geography), runs from July 27 to 31 and Week 4, Make Your Own Museum, runs from Aug. 10 to 14.
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For those who may not have internet access, the WDM will be offering a limited number of pre-printed kits with activities to complete. They will be available for curbside pickup at the four branches.
“It’s important to have this offered. There’s been a lot of talk about fatigue when it comes to online things, but we want to stay engaged with our supporters and visitors who can’t come to the museum right now,” Rasmussen said.
“We want to offer them a taste of the museum and the great thing about this is… through this program virtually, you will be able to see artifacts that are in those other locations. Maybe you haven’t been out to the North Battleford site, and you can learn about what they do.”
Rasmussen said the camps are targeted at children six to 10 years of age, but is keeping it available for older kids and even adults.
Registration starts on June 22. People are encouraged to register at least one week prior to the start of each camp.
The WDM is implementing a “pay what you can” system, meaning there is no set cost to the program but it is accepting donations.
Registration will soon be made available on the WDM website.