I’m Morgan Rockola, a Conestoga College Public Relations’ student completing a placement at The Canadian Canoe Museum. I had the exciting opportunity to be a part of the March Break camps at the museum. I learned about the activities and took photos of the fun! This blog details these creative activities, and gives you a glimpse into the hands-on nature of the program.
The Canadian Canoe Museum offered a variety of exciting hands-on programs for children ages 6+ during March Break that combined education and creativity. The week was busy with children enjoying scavenger hunts, building Limberjacks, carving soapstone, painting themselves into a wooden canoe, building wanigans and carving and painting paddles. The programs, held throughout the museum, were facilitated and supported by the entire Education Team with the invaluable assistance of volunteers.
The Limberjack program combines woodworking, creativity and music. Children put their limberjacks together using screwdrivers. Once assembled, they explored their creative side, designing their limberjacks and the board that they dance on using paint and fabric. Once completed, the children got them to dance along with live accordion music.
In Arctic Adventures, children explored the tradition of soapstone carving. Each child started with a cut piece of soapstone (a blank) and sanded it down until it was smooth and of a shape that they liked. Next, they wet-sanded it where they held the soapstone in water and buffed out any lines. Once the sanding was complete, they oiled their pieces of soapstone to make them smooth and shiny. Finally, a string was added and the children were able to take home a traditional soapstone pendant.
Is That You in the Canoe?, a new workshop this year, was a fun activity that the children greatly enjoyed. They began with a small wooden canoe cutout that they painted and designed and were able to place their face on their canoe. Next, they folded paper boats and sent them racing down the waterfall at the museum, which was great fun.
For the Wanigans workshop, children had the opportunity to build a miniature wanigan! A wanigan is a small wooden chest carried with a tumpline (or leather head strap) to carry kitchen and/or other supplies during a canoe trip. All of the wooden boards, nails and screws were provided for the children to build their wanigan using basic woodworking skills. Once the children’s wanigans were built, they decorated them using markers, paint, and pencil crayons.
The final March Break workshop was paddle carving and paddle painting. The children got to carve their own two-foot paddle using traditional shaving and sanding methods. Once the paddle was carved, linseed oil was added to make it smooth and the children were able to paint and design their paddles to take home. Overall, the March Break camps were educational and fun for the children, leaving them with lasting memories and souvenirs.