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SPRING BREAK: Pioneer Times at Fort Croghan Museum in Burnet

A blacksmith works metal during last October’s Fort Croghan Day celebration. The Fort Croghan Grounds and Museum are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 12-17 for Spring Break. Staff photos by Daniel Clifton

BURNET — Spring Break 2018, meet the 1800s at Fort Croghan Museum.

The best part: It's free of electronic devices, but your kids will be having so much fun, they won't notice.

The pioneer-era museum is opening for Spring Break on Saturday, March 10. The activities continue Monday-Saturday, March 12-17, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A special "Spring Break at Fort Croghan!" is 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. that Wednesday-Friday.

The events are free, but parents or guardians must accompany children.

“We put together this pilot program for free guided activities at the fort,” said Samantha Melvin, a Fort Croghan Museum volunteer. “Students learn about the local community and history through fun activities, and it’s something parents (or grandparents) can do with the kids, so it’s something they experience together.”

Activities include:

• Tour the museum — Discover artifacts from across Burnet County that tell stories of the past.

• Story-time — Volunteers will read from a selection of books about life as a settler, a fort soldier, and in the Old West. Good for ages kindergarten through the fifth grade.

• Archeology at the fort — Learn about archeology with a dig on fort grounds.

• Cornhusk doll making — Create cornhusk dolls just like the pioneer children did. You get to take it home.

• Outdoor sketching — Facilitators will help budding artists express themselves through sketching as the kids learn how to draw using perspective.

• Games We Play! — Play games pioneer children enjoyed.

• Tour the cabins — A guide will take kids and parents on a tour of the many cabins on the museum grounds. (These are actual frontier-era buildings, not replicas).

Melvin said participants will go through a rotation of activities based on when they arrive.

“We put together some fun activities that are outside,” she added. “They each have a learning component, but we weave that in with the fun that the kids don’t really realize it.”

You can bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the museum grounds. Barbecue and pizza are also available from eateries near the fort.

The event is organized by the Fort Croghan Museum, the Burnet Historical Commission, and the Burnet Heritage Society. Melvin added that Fort Croghan volunteers are working to develop a curriculum to go along with the artifacts at the museum that teachers can use in their classrooms as well as during field trips to Fort Croghan.

“This ('Spring Break at Fort Croghan!') is a way to test-drive that curriculum,” she said.

The activities also introduce kids to local history.

“It’s good to know where you’re from,” Melvin said. “The history in Burnet County is really rich.”

Fort Croghan Museum volunteers ask parents or grandparents to RSVP to the fort at ftcroghan.museum@gmail.com with the ages and names of children coming to the Spring Break program and on what day.

The fort and museum are located at 703 Buchanan Drive (Texas 29). Check out the Fort Croghan Museum Facebook page @fortcroghan for updates and more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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