Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of joining 35 members of our volunteer team on a road trip to the beautiful town of Kingston, ON. The bus trip is an annual outing for us and each fall we head to a new destination to explore different cities, museums and attractions. The number one goal of the trip is to provide our volunteers with a chance to meet new people, see new places and have a blast experiencing new things. While we’re at it, we also try to take advantage of opportunities for professional development and to see how other institutions run their show.Our day began at the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum participating in a Curator’s Tour. We learned about the history of the museum, got a taste of some of their kids programs, and spent some time rummaging through “the vault”.

Here's Basia playing 'Guess the Artifact'

John & Don took a crack at making homemade paper

Making Paper 2

I had no idea that making your own paper was so easy…and messy! Paper making is one of the MacLachlan’s most popular education programs. You start by shredding up old or used paper (our guide Megan recommended construction paper and the comics section of the newspaper to get a neat effect). You actually chop up the paper in a food processor with some water to make a ‘sludge’. The sludge is poured into a large bin where you then strain the mixture through a fine screen. Once you’ve pressed out most of the water you flip the paper onto a flat surface and allow it to dry over night.

Fresh paper that's still wet



After: Dry, ready-to-use, homemade paper



Some highlights of our tour of the MacLachlan were: 1).The kids area, complete with a felt campfire and tree branch book shelf…

kids area

2). This awesome wood sample wall and floor that welcome you through the main entrance…

Wall floor


3). The MacLachlan vault that housed rows and rows of artifacts that aren’t normally on display to the general public…

vault 2

We all got a little overly excited when we saw that they had canoes!

The largest hand plane in their entire collection, which would require at least 2 adults in order to operate

4). And lastly, this incredible view from the deck, overlooking a bay of the St. Lawrence…



After a great morning at the MacLachlan we headed to downtown Kingston for lunch and then met back up at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. We spent the afternoon touring the main galleries and the museum ship, CCGS Alexander Henry (a former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker).

ship better ship view

We lucked out with beautiful weather, zero traffic and 2 fantastic museums. Thank you to everyone who came along for the day, and to the Marine Museum and the MacLachlan for hosting us!! Click here to read all about our 2013 bus trip, and if you have ideas for destinations for next year I would love to hear them – [email protected].