2015- The Summer of Time Travel

So, this summer we have basically turned into a time machine.

Not like, physically morphed into some physics and philosophy defying tear in a black hole…no no…that would require too much math and liability waivers.

More like for the first time ever, this summer we have an ENTIRE BROCHURE worth of programs that are so hands on and interactive you might as well have jumped in a time machine and traveled back in time!

Let me just expand on this….

Kids Day <— (link to kids day article)

Generally, the first event of the year is always Kids Day. Second Saturday in June. Eeeeeeeveryone knows about Kids Day by now. This is our annual excuse to go crazy under the guise of ‘education’. The day is set up with activity stations spread out all over the grounds, themed around things that were {generally} crucial to the development of the valley. And stuff we just like. Because it’s fun and messy. I would write an explanation for this section, but that is already done, so I will just leave you with the link to read a previous (and decently thorough) post about kids day.

That rope sure got a workout through the day...one of the morning rounds of Tug o' War

That rope sure got a workout through the day…one of the morning rounds of Tug o’ War

 

Locals Day

This is a pretty new one. We started this day last year, offering free admission to locals as encouragement to come be curious and investigate some of the back story of our town. But that seemed too simple. We had to jazz it up a little. It has since transformed into a day offering exclusive activities based off a historical aspect of the valley. If all goes as planned, our next Locals Day {July 18} will offer a cooking presentation by The Great Canadian Cooking School, highlighting just how much natural diversity we have in our valley, making scrumptious bites featuring delicious indigenous food, such as naturally occurring fruits & vegetation, mushrooms, wild game etc. If you couldn’t grow it, hunt it, or forage it here, chances were you didn’t have it. But as compared to places like the prairies, it basically had the potential to be a mother nature gourmet buffet here! So the whole hipster trend organic 100mile diet was really a thing here before it was ever a thing. Actually it was probably closer to the 50km diet in reality. But you get the point. Come join us and get in on what our great (and great great, and great great great…) grandparents enjoyed!

Annual Afternoon Tea

This is the event that started it all. It has been a tradition for many a year here at the Creston Museum… the ORIGINAL time travel event! Based on a different Historical theme each year, guests are invited to dress up and join us for tea and dainties on the patio; enjoy tea, lemonade, and a show based around the historical theme of the year (generally performed by our local drama group Footlighters). This event is so popular, we have to book off of reservations and have actually ended up turning people away because we have no room left in any of our THREE seatings!!                                     ~FYI we can fit about 50 people per seating, so 150 people in the span of 3 hours~

We even have a couple that travels over an hour to attend every year. We loooove to hear that. This year’s theme is 1920’s…so bust out your flappers! Rylan is still working out the details of the play, but from what I’ve seen so far, this year is going to be soooo much fun!!

 

Tuesdays in the School House

Even though we don’t have an entire town that could be restored, we do have some pretty cool things that are still totally functional (my brain on a hot afternoon is not always included on that list). One of those things that IS on the list however, is our 103 year old school house! Built in 1913, this school was used in a tiny community called Kingsgate near the Canada-US border until roughly the late 1920’s-early 1930’s. Records on this school are pretty vague, so our knowledge of many aspects of the running and attendance of it is a little shy at times. It was donated to us in 1996, after being used as a storage shed for many years. It was loaded onto a flat deck, the roof chopped off by a gung-ho helper with a chainsaw (which, it actually kind of had to be anyways because it had to go under a train trestle), the rotted out floor re-done, building placed on a foundation, roof re-attached and structural issues addressed, making it completely and totally 100% useable again!

…minus the working wood stove. I got told no… Tammy says the insurance companies seem to have this thing about ‘‘fire’’ in ‘’wooden buildings’’…yeesh.

 

What party poopers.

So anyway, since we have been overhauling nearly everything to be completely hands on, naturally we had to have actual lessons in our school house!

Running for about 45-60min every Tuesday, pupils will receive their very own exercise book out of which to complete their lessons and take home as souvenirs, or, bring back to do more lessons! Subjects range from hygiene (just how clean are your fingernails…?) and things good children do to be polite and tidy in public and at home, to the lost art of penmanship, Social Studies revolving around 1920s Canada, recitation and spelling…oh so many things! You will completely forget you are in 2015!

Mr. Lavallee is quite strict about being punctual, however, and tardiness will not be tolerated!

 

Wednesday Downtown Walking Tours / Rambling Reminiscences

I can’t even begin to say just how very cool this program is. Tammy spent quite a bit of time out east when she was in College/University, and has been to quite a few much larger/well known interpretation centers where it is all done in first person. This has had her thinking for some time that she would love to incorporate that here somehow. But our facility layout, -and the fact that before she was able to hire me, all of her time was taken up with grant applications just to keep the place running- there wasn’t any time to spend on special projects. So now that she has her very own minion {my public title is ‘Program Co-ordinator’. My official job title is actually Minion} to take care of a whole chunk of things she needs to pawn off, there is now time for her to start messing with some ideas she has had on the back burner for quite a while, liiiiike incorporating first person interpretation into our programs! Our facility is fairly small, and has a lot of separate little parts. And although I’m sure we could totally get creative and create a way to make first person interpretation work, it is always so much more fun when it is based in a town. And well, we live in a town…

What if… just what if; a prominent person of the past was to somehow find themselves in the present…? And what if… they were to perhaps guide you through down town as it was in their time?

This is the basis of Wednesday Walking Tours! I am so happy to see this vision of Tammy’s come to life! The bus tours will be just as cool though. I’m not undercutting that. Because we will be using a bus. and rock stars have buses. So basically everyone on those buses are rock stars. Based off a book written by a local quite some time ago, it is a reflection of what the town was like in the past (the past of the time it was written), and looking into the future from the time in the past at the time it was written. Confused yet? Me too. Using pictures pulled from our archives to help you get a visual sense of what the town once looked like, you will be toured all around, from the farms in Erickson through town and back out to Alice Siding (approx. the area of town where we are). Is this not awesome or what? We don’t just tour inside the box. We tour outside the box too.

 

Thursday Orchard Tours

Creston is an orchard town. Always has been…it is why we are even still in existence today. Of course we all see trees in nice neat rows with beautiful blossoms or fruit growing plentifully on the branches…but what does it actually take to run a successful orchard? It has taken over a year of grant writing, research, program and training material development, building of buildings, and moving of extremely heavy artifacts to make another vision of Tammy’s come to life. The program will guide you through the work of running a successful orchard business from a century ago up until present, and discover the trials, tribulations, similarities, and differences farmers have faced through 100 years time. After an interactive interpretation in the Museum’s new exhibits, hop on a bus [there you go being rock stars again] and be whisked away to a local orchard or farm to hear from an agricultural professional, and maybe even get your hands dirty with a little ‘U-Pick’!

 

Wildcard Saturdays

I might be slightly biased about this one, but this one is my personal favourite. Wildcard Saturdays…where to begin… Read this article about our upcoming Pioneer Homestead, perhaps it will help fill in a few blanks. Cuz if we are going to roll with the whole amazingly intriguing and fun interactive and immersive time travel education theme…we just couldn’t not do a homestead cabin. I mean really. oh, also, I better put this out there now… it is NOT restricted to children only… we want EVERYONE to come! Families, adults, kids, adults who are really just big kids, seniors, seniors who refuse to grow up…we want you all! And that whole ‘wildcard’ part? well, it is a complete wildcard as to what activity you are going to get! Apart from making ice cream every Saturday afternoon, the other activity will never be posted…  It is a total mystery activity! You have to come join to find out!  From churning butter & ice cream by hand, to doing laundry, handmade crafts & projects, and GOOD GRIEF sooooo much more, once you step in the door the idea of being in 2015 will leave you all together. We seriously can’t wait. I’m not even being dramatic, I was sitting on the cabin floor with just the frame of one wall up typing most of this article this morning because I am so excited 😐

Lastly, not quite so much in the time travel department, but still playing their own big part in helping fill up our brochure, are our day events.

The Quilt Show

Sat, Sept 19 10am-4pm

Held every year, showcases sooooo many quilts, it’s amazing. From very (very) {very} [very very] hand stitched old quilts, to gigantic modern machine quilted quilts, the place is absolutely covered. You NEED to come see, it’s amazing

“The Art of Style”

Aug 29-Sept 19 10am-3:30pm

This is a new exhibit featuring local artist Irwin Crosthwait. A Canyon boy, he grew up, joined the navy as a way to get to Paris, and went on to become one of the foremost fashion artists there during the 1950s and ’60s. Come explore his early life, his naval and artistic careers, and the fashions he sketched.

Evening in the Courtyard

Saturday, Aug 29 7-9pm

This one is going to be so much fun. What better way to wrap up the summer than an evening in our gorgeous courtyard, with local wine (and non-alcoholic local sparkling cider), cheese, meats, and other delicious foods…not to mention an OUTDOOR MOVIE! Bring a blanket, pillows, or lawn chairs and take in the show while enjoying our local delicacies! Attendance is restricted to 19+ though, with limited ticket numbers, so stay tuned for when they go on sale! (First drink included in admission ticket, tickets purchased for subsequent drinks)

 

 

 

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Yet another new addition…

My head is full of crazy stuff. You never know what is going to pop into this out-there ‘noggin of mine! Every once in a while though, one of those ridiculous ideas just happens to make it’s way out of my mouth, and somebody likes it!

This, is one of those cases. I will warn you though, this is a bit of a long one, because there is just SO. MUCH. TO TELL!!!

I might have one of the best bosses ever…just sayin’. She generally gets on board with my…*ahem*…initiative 😐 …right away, and genuinely enthusiastically I will add!

Being pretty new, (a few months after I started last year) I wanted to go see how other facilities did things. We had already decided that we wanted to angle towards a much more hands on format, but we have an incredibly unique layout, which, although we think is quite frankly awesome {even if we do say so ourself}…it presents some unique presentation challenges to go along with it. There is very little behind glass in our museum, everything is open. So even though we wanted to encourage hands on, it still means that EVERYTHING can be touched… even the stuff you don’t want to be touched… but the more you try to tactfully divert those that want to touch what they aren’t supposed to they are gonna do it anyways. Those touchers…

Now as much as touching in a museum is akin to cussing in church, in the educational branch of Museums, the more stuff you can touch and mess with the better!

There was a quote going around Pinterest for a bit, something along the lines of

“A person will soon forgot the things you said, but will always remember the way you made them feel…”

Sounds pretty legit. And considering I am an observational/hands on learner myself, I kinda get it. You can talk to your crowd until they are blue in the face (which, professionally speaking, I don’t recommend. Blue DOES NOT mean you are sad! I repeat, DOES NOT MEAN SAD), but they will forget the facts and what the thingamabob is called or what the dingle-hopper was invented for but actually ended up being used for instead. What they WILL remember, is how awkward trying to wrangle the thing was because you needed so much co-ordination and skill; or how much work it was to get two cups of ice cream, or how heavy the thing that went on the thing was, because it had to be to balance to do the stuff.

But back to that best boss ever thing now… so I was like “Tammy, can I go look at Ft. Steele?” and she was like “Cool, pick a day” and I was like…

dude

Actually no, that would be unprofessional. ahhh….who am I kidding. It’s not that far off. So my goal was to look at much larger, established organizations that are very successful, have year round activities, and have a reputation that pulls in repeat customers/becomes a tradition. A trip to one of the most hands on programs in the area, Fort Steele was in order!

They are an 1890’s heritage town, that has been restored (and tastefully added on to here and there), and now serves as an educational/recreational attraction. Most of it is presented in first person, the staff are all in period clothing, [the on site seamstresses make most of the clothes and WOW talent…]. But, they are also set up so not only do you watch the ‘pioneers’ do what they do, {like their famous Clydesdale’s plow fields the old-school way},

but you also get to get your hands dirty. From railroad programs where you actually build a small stretch of railroad, {did you know Ft. Steele trains were used in Shanghai Noon…as in *Jackie Chan & Owen Wilson* } to baking in the Lambi House, panning for gold…there’s so much I can’t name it all. You should just check it out for yourself.

Now, we don’t have an entire town to restore. (But we do have the bottom level of a castle). We don’t have acres upon acres upon acres to cultivate. We DO have a steam engine train…but it can’t run. Although… if Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson hung out on it, it just might…still do nothing. meh.

We have a 103 year old one room school house, which is sooo popular with visitors from other countries, and that could totally be used (and guess what…it is! Lessons on Tuesdays through the summer!)

I tried for critters, but apparently the courtyard is too small. And something about bylaws or some flippity-flap like that. But despite all of the stuff working against us, we do have a shed. A rather large, open faced shed.

IMG_0609

 

 

<——— (there)

 

 

So I come back from Fort Steele and an awesome day with their Program Co-Ordinator at the time, Tammy asks how my day was, and the conversation may or may not have proceeded as such: (you decide…how well you know me?)

 

Me: “Tammy…we need a homestead cabin.”

Tammy: “we…need a homestead cabin…”

Me: Yes. We need a homestead cabin.

Tammy: “Why do we need a homestead cabin..?”

Me: “So we can do homestead cabiny stuff…”

Tammy: “I like it! Lets start looking into it!”

Me:

Tammy: cat

Me:  “yeeeeeeeesssssss….”

Some creative arranging of funds, and the spirit of using what space we have craftily, we are now building a little pioneer homestead cabin of our own inside that big open faced shed!

Now, it’s not to throw miscreants in…I promise…but it is a place to let peoples inclination to touching everything they see run wild! But if we are being serious for a second, how many times have you seen a little tiny one or two room run down cabin, and wondered just how people managed to live in them? Or read a book about a pioneer and tried to imagine life, but always wanted to actually step inside their world?

If all goes as planned, this will be your transport to an era gone. Programs featuring skills of yesteryear will be regularly run, from 45-60 minutes to full half days, with a mix of fun & chores in the spot light.

But the fact that we are getting a Homestead isn’t even the best part of this story. No no…the best is yet to come!

So now that it is decided we will have a new functionally interactive exhibit, we had to put our nose to the grindstone and do some serious planning. The shed has A LOT of stuff in it. Remember that post about moving day? No? Here…this was in part to clear a space for our cabin. This gave us about enough space for an 11×16 structure give or take ten square feet for a second little separate entryway, so time to bust out the drawing board. It’s a good thing I did 4 years drafting in school, this really helped with material planning.

As you know, everything in our museum has a local tie, and a local story. Even though the Homestead will have local stuff in it, we really wanted it to have some sort of a story of it’s own. Originally, we figured we could make it represent closely some of the small starter cabins that were so common in the town as it was in it’s infancy. But then, it’s funny how coincidences happen. Some wonderfully amazing people [names not included at this point as I don’t have their permission yet] wanted to know if we wanted their TEACHERAGE! well, obviously we couldn’t say no to that kind of offer…

If you are unfamiliar with a teacherage, it is a teachers cottage…teacherage. {i made that up. but it makes sense}. The little house would be built right close to the one room school for the teacher to live in, and especially for all the single ladies, it made it easier to get to work in winter.

teacherage

I’m not 100% sure when/where this picture came from, but you can see the windows are boarded up, and the pump, and door are in one piece.

 

The windows are boarded up, but the door and well are no longer in one piece.

This particular one was the ‘Alice Siding’ school teachers house. When I think I’m being a procrastinator, I just think of the Alice Mine (the mine that gave that side of town it’s name), then I don’t feel so bad. There will most definitely be a post on this mine in the future. But anyways, it’s just a little house…18′ and a few inches by 22′, three rooms, and one level from what we can tell… pictures of the inside are pretty scarce.

A picture we have of the interior of the house at one time

A picture we have of the interior of the house at one time

Given the structure of this building, it would be a pretty crazy feat to try and take the whole thing apart. We can’t move it (a:narrow country roads b:narrow budget c:narrow space), but what we can do is use parts of it.

Commencing Tuesday, we will be removing as much siding from the outside and wainscoting from the inside as we can to use on our little shed! That way, even though we can’t use the whole thing, we still have as much as possible to tell it’s story.

So, here is a picture of the frame of the floor of the cabin that the siding will go on so far…

IMG_0656

The final interior layout is undecided as of yet, there are a few logistics that just don’t really want to co-operate, but that’s ok, so long as we get the 3 walls up we’ll be ahead of the game. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page, because I will be taking pictures like crazy of this process!

 

aaaand thats all for now. *super gigantic gasp for breath* thanks for stickin’ it out this far! Regular updates to follow. Cheers!

 

 

 

The Aftermath…Kids Day 2015

It’s funny, because everybody says this about a wedding… “all that work, and prep, and crazyness for ONE day, then the day gets there and it’s a blast and chaos then the next day you are left with your head spinning wondering ‘what happened?’ and everything is so weirdly quiet…”

Kids Day. to a ‘T’.

This is the courtyard this morning…

IMG_0609

It is so amazingly serene and tranquil I can’t believe I’m actually sitting indoors typing this right now. You can hear the cows lowing (yes, lowing. it’s a less moo-y word for mooing) down in the fields below…a few of the resident birds are chirping, and if you sit still long enough you might see Walt the Gopher. or Walts kid. or grandkid. or great grandkid. great great grand gopher? you might see the gopher.

It’s hard to believe that just yesterday the yard looked like this…

Screaming and squeeing and laughing and playing and learning EVERYWHERE! And I think we actually beat last years number, we recorded an attendance of 128 for 2015! Not too shabby…it’s amazing what you can pack into this place 😉

But you know what I really love about Kids Day here? That everyone participates together. I think some of the parents had just as much fun as the kids! Which really makes us happy!

The staff really had a good time as well, which I think is pretty important. At one quiet point in the afternoon there was even an impromptu colouring session! Rylan wants to do a Kids Day every month now!! (i actually think he just wants to have an excuse to colour)…He’s absolutely been bit by the Event Bug.

Not to mention the teamwork that was going on.

These siblings —>  (with a little help from their mom and Adrianna -one of our volunteers-) made it through the most challenging activity of the day…

JamesEarlJones

THE NOODLE CABIN…

Never mind super-challenging for kids…It is super challenging for adults! But these guys stuck it out and got er’ done! Which is seriously impressive. Here is our staff working on it that morning…

The Tug o’ War was sooooo popular, it was kind of a ‘sleeper’ station. An all out battle occured every 5 minutes. Now, watching tiny children pull with all their might and get nowhere is more entertaining than it realistically should be. But I trained one to let go when the other team was ganging up on him and pulling super hard {when he was on his own}, and watch them do backwards tumbles on their rumps. He got a kick out of that too.

A long standing tradition with events here is resurrecting penny candy. Gone are the days when you could purchase candy for a penny, or a nickle even! So, kids participating in events earn pennies to redeem at the General Store for sugary treats. Because we feed children sugar then make them run it off. Rinse and repeat.

The spin off is there is usually left over, which we whole-heartedly take advantage of. because lets be realistic. it won’t last 365 days until next Kids Day 😉

These two half pints seemed to have mastered the art of eating sweets, running around like little mad-men, earning their penny, then coming back huffing and puffing asking for ‘another sour please’…

Look at those faces...just so adorable!

Look at those faces…just so adorable!

We haaave to give an enormous thanks to Overwaitea Foods (Creston) for their incredibly generous donations. Without their help, we couldn’t do the Penny Candy and Ice Cream/Lemonade. They are so awesome, and help us out with almost all our events.

So by the end of the afternoon, when the kids had been all run out, and sunned out, the staff was fairly exhausted too. So with ice cream in hand and probably some of the strangest conversations I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of, [including discovering Ray has a hidden streak of gangster], we closed out the day. Some of us obviously more tuckered than others. But it was great.

Didn’t get a chance to catch Kids Day this year? No worries, it is usually the second Saturday in June. Not to mention we have tons of amazing weekly summer programs coming up. Check out our Facebook page or give us a shout for full details!

250-428-9262

crestonmuseum@telus.net

Hope to see you soon!

The Shop of Doom…undoomed.

At the time I started writing this, it was pouring buckets, which means only one thing. It’s spring. And really, what is spring without a good, ol’ fashioned scour and purge? We all have that one space that just…accumulates. takes on a life of it’s own. has become your own personal real-life “Eye Spy” vignette. For us, that would be the workshop…

shed

Off in it’s quiet corner behind Founders Hall, it sits. Sheltered by massive trees, it is the perfect place to be dedicated to handy stuff and tools and spare materials. But what happens after a few years…well…you know.

Soon.

Soon, you walk in; a simple, innocent being… simply looking for a rope, or perhaps a screwdriver. But as you step in the door, your eyes begin to adjust. And it hits you.  Neigh a trace of organization, save for the nails and screws meticulously sorted in old clear plastic ice tea containers. {not that you can actually reach them because the shelves they currently occupy are guarded by a fortress of boxes and stacks to rival any Greek city-that you could probably climb on if you were feeling particularly brave today, but maybe you don’t reeeeally need them right now. but you really should get that recycling out this weekend. but probably not cuz it’s playoffs.}

And the old kitchen cupboards that you picked up off the curb free because they would be perfect storage for the shed, are meticulously scattered in the contents they house, not an ounce of rhyme or reason for the placement of the things that occupy their hollows…merely a maddening version of adult Tetris. Which block will fit where while still being able to close the door. Or not. Just not have stuff falling out. because who needs closed doors anyways? it’s a shed. come to think of it, who even needs doors?

Then after two hours of scouring, mining, scattering, chucking, cursing, muttering, climbing, tunneling…it hits you.

You left it in the basement because there was no room in the shed.

And in that instant, you can feel that you have been on the edge.

BUT YOU ARE STRONG! YOU CAN DEFEAT THE CLUTTER!

 

hahahaha….yes, I am just a touch tired and perhaps more than a dash dramatic today, but rainy cloudy weather tends to do that to a person. {today it is supposed to reach the 30’s Celcius} Can you tell I was an English AP Student for a few years? No? I can do serious structured too. Promise. But that’s boring 😛  Really though. Sheds and garages can get a little bit out of hand.

[our wonderful shed full of….character…]

So Tammy decided it was time to do something about it! She had her best grubby clothes on, Skip had the truck fueled up and ready to haul, and they started in. I was on another project, or I would of been in on it. Like a shot. Actually it was raining. And I can’t stand getting wet. I confess.

They burrowed. And they hauled. And they tossed…and I can guarantee they puzzled perplexedly over many a thing; be it their placement, relevance, or any number of other variables. They even found a set of keys that got ‘lost’ 2 years ago!!

Turns out they were put in a planter by someone :/

huh.

Amongst other things we found…a sizable dog kennel. [we don’t have a dog]

What was left after was truly something of a miracle. Do you even recognize it?!?! You can move in there!!

 

The Chev was certainly loaded up! And guess what? like any good garage/shed clear out, we are having a yard sale in celebration! (c’mon, we couldn’t just throw it all away…there was some good stuff in there)

The dump load. Pretty sure I heard it growl at one point.

So after a long day, Tammy came into the office thinking she could quietly catch up on some paperwork and emails…but no. There is no thinking you will get something done here!! Never fails, you think you will be able, and just as you sit down, the phone rings 80 times. And an entire herd of people prance into the office. or something.

Rylan (our summer programing assistant) and I had decided maybe we needed to do some cleaning of our own, so we hauled out the costume boxes 😉 You can imagine how well that went! Actually it was really hilarious, and kind of disconcerting, the amount of vests we found… but there were some fantastic other treasures!

Rylan's Pretty Dress Find #1

Rylan’s Find #1

Rylan's Pretty Dress Find #2

Rylan’s Find #2

found this colourful piece

This colourful piece…

Ray found a lovely hat.

Ray found a lovely hat.

Ray trying to get Alison to wear the lovely hat.

Ray trying to get Alison to wear the lovely hat.                            Alison not finding the lovely hat all that lovely.

So all in all, it was quite the day. Some crazy discoveries, yard sale stuff found and ready, discovered there IS a floor in the shed, outlandish and ridiculous and pretty and fun costumes thoroughly made fun of…

 

Come see us at the yard sale Saturday, June 6 @ 9:00am

*sorry, no artifacts for sale

 

THE KIDS ARE TAKING OVER!!

mmmk. So last year at this time I had been employed at the Creston Museum for a whopping 30 days. As a Program Coordinator, my first project was to arrange the Annual Kids Day event. Wide-eyed-and-bushy-tailed I launched head first into it. And came out with an entire binder full of activities. [in case you can’t tell, I was very excited]. Needless to say it was a monster amount of work, but the students that year were so super awesome, they did a crazy good job.

And guess what? We’re gonna do it all over again 😉

SATURDAY JUNE 13 2015 10AM-4PM

ADMISSION BY DONATION

FIRST ROUND OF ACTIVITIES @ 10:15AM

FREE ICE CREAM & LEMONADE 1-1:30PM

SECOND ROUND OF ACTIVITIES @ 1:45PM

Kids day is jam packed with fun stuff. Obviously. But, like sneaking zucchini into chocolate cake, the games also have a hidden agenda. That you totally can’t taste. But seriously though, who doesn’t love chocolate zucchini cake.

I’m drooling now.

What was I saying?

Oh ya.

Our goal is to make learning as hands on and ridiculous and fun as humanly possible. And usually that involves some sort of mess. (last year it was shaving cream)

Which, really, who isn’t into getting messy? Especially kids. But don’t pretend that you grownups don’t enjoy it too!

So here is a little magnifying glass into what is behind some of our favorite games and activities!

Load the Apple Crate:

Relay Race

On the surface, it looks like an innocent race to pile delicious fruit into a crate and tap into kids inherent love to run and be competitive. But in reality, Apple Packing was an extremely physical job that relied on speed and efficiency. Time and volume is profit, and every little bit mattered! Not to mention the quality. If your produce was bruised, one or two things happened… a) you got a lower price for your fruit and/or b) it spoiled quicker therefore reducing your profit. And since the backbone of Creston Economy was apple orchards, this is pretty significant to why our town is still thriving today.

 

Weight Pull:

Team Activity

Throughout time, tests of strength have been a source of entertainment and fame. Pulling competitions, throwing competitions, you name it, they were held regularly, and the winners earned SUPREME bragging rights and very high respect and esteem by their community. Ever hear the story of Figure and Justin Morgan? Kind of like The Little Train That Could. but a horse. I couldn’t find a good enough site to link to, but basically Justin Morgan (a teacher and artsy guy in the 1700’s Vermont) bought a little bay colt who had a fairly well known father and a ‘wild air’ mom, and as he grew he could do anything the ‘purebreds’ could do; speed trot, run, pull… and best them. Every. Single. Time. Even the HUUUGE drafts! and he was tiny… so he became famous and got to pass his genes on to lots of babies that were basically his clones and ended up the founding father of the Morgan Horse.

A fairly average Morgan horse, with a rider for scale

A typical Percheron Draft team. The first Morgan would of been competing against horses this big, and doing the same type of work: logging, plowing, etc.

 

But these competitions also served a purpose. Without mechanized aid, strength was success, be it in a man or animal. The strongest animals got to pass on their genes to the next generation, and the strongest people thrived for their ability to get the job done and either earn a wage or withstand the grueling work required to sew fields, harvest etc to produce food to survive. Creston is an Agriculture town, so both two and four legged folks here had to have some serious muscle!

 

Build A Bridge:

Team Activity

Ahhh yes…build a bridge. You receive a pile of completely un-related ‘stuff’, with the objective of reaching the other side of the courtyard without falling off or touching the grass. Otherwise you start over. For most kids, this one can be quite challenging, much like the Cabin. Some might call me cruel, or old school, but you have to admit; teamwork, physical awareness, problem solving, communication, and attention span are greatly reduced. It’s iPads and instant gratification. {rant over.}

In ‘the old days’, all these were serious life skills!! The community had to work together for the best interest of EVERYONE, and if you got stuck and couldn’t figure something out at a job, you didn’t just give up, you enlisted help and worked together as a team! TEAMWORK FOR THE WIN!

Build a Cabin

Team Activity

I do a lot of weird things here. And that’s being modest. Tammy doesn’t even ask anymore. But when I asked her for a whole boatload of pool noodles, she didn’t know just yet the level of crazy she just signed herself on for. But, she trusted me, and we came out with a pretty sweet little project!

 

JamesEarlJones

THE NOODLE CABIN…

S’pose I should do some ‘splanin…

This activity, much like the bridge activity, was designed to encourage team work and problem solving, as well as push attention spans. When a settling family came to Creston, chances were you were pretty poor, and couldn’t afford much for building materials. If you bought a piece of property that was still forested, well you were in luck! You were looking at most of your building materials. Everyone knows that a log cabin is basically a giant 3-D puzzle, but it took a lot of work, from lots of people to piece it together. And everyone helped out because that’s just what a small community did! Joe’s family needs help building a cabin? Sweet! Mrs. is making cornbread, lets roll up our sleeves! Ma’am’s family needs a cabin? c’mon everyone!  Oh, you only have small diameter logs to work with? Heads together guys! Who has a saw?

The cabin is very similar, match up the proper ends with the proper dowels, and with a little bit of communication and teamwork, you have a really cool, mini rainbow cabin!

wanna see it all put together? Come check it out on Kids Day!!

wanna see it all put together? Come check it out on Kids Day!! (PS it is much bigger than it looks like it will be in the picture)

Gold Panning:

Individual Independent (messy) Activity

Creston was not founded on gold panning. Most of the surrounding area was… But that’s not to say that it wasn’t attempted! A lot. All over the valley. And a few people actually found some nice little veins. But it was still a major part of the economy of the area back in the day. People would travel great distances through the area to try and strike it rich! It is quite the art, and still had an enormous following the world over.

Also, it is a great excuse to get wet on a very hot day and splash and mess with dirt.

This is just a sample of the activities we will be hosting, there is stuff in every corner of the place! Not to mention winning Pennies to redeem for candy after completing certain activities! Arts and crafts, it’s all here. Join us and have some fun! (this is a judgement free zone, so adults feel free to participate “with” your kids 😉 )

Model T wins a Blue Ribbon in the Creston Valley Blossom Fest Parade

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I think Tammy and Skip can smile a great big, huge, well deserved smile. ‘The T’ as it is affectionately known ’round here made it through the parade, and even came away with a blue ribbon! Talk about a great outcome!

It has been just about a year long process to restore this farm truck back to [safe] working order, and if you’ve been following the truck you know what kind of a milestone this is! Click HERE for the main story.

So just in case you missed it, here are some pictures of the T running in all its 94 year old glory!

This years fantastic summer students

Driving by the iconic Grain Elevators who call Creston, BC home

What a beautiful blue ribbon…

HERE  is the link to our YouTube channel to for some videos of it running.

Wanna see it?

219 Devon Road, Creston BC

The truck loves company and the spotlight. Hope to see you soon!

I spy with my little eye…

Have I ever mentioned I love my job?

Things I get to do legitimately and get paid for:

-Garden

-Be on Pinterest

-Write these certifiably crazy blog posts

-Think up ridiculous and fun activities for kids and kids of the adult persuasion

-Visit various super cool and mostly historic places

-Stick stuff in concrete

…..

wait…What?

yes. you heard me. stick stuff in concrete. cast iron stuff in concrete.

let me explain…but it might take a bit to get around to the actual point of the story. so bear with me!

Within the next year {every crossible body part crossed and Irish jigs showered in four leaf clovers and the blessings of mermaids} we will be embarking on a mission to up-heave our storage system. It is impossibly inefficient, and at this point, Tammy estimates another 2 years and we won’t be able to accept another single thing.

*cue audience GASP*

It’s kind of sad when you actually think about it. I may not know much, and what my knowledge does revolve around tends to be completely perfunctory trivia, but I do know that putting a cork on our collection would not be a particularly desirable thing.

So Tammy in her absolutely amazing and beyond dedicated way has been grant writing like a crazy woman! But acquiring over $200,000 worth is one very,

Very.

VERY.

large task.

But in order to store our stuff, we have to do a purge. One thing about Museums is that they have a habbit of becoming hoardey hoarders that hoard hoardy hoarders who hoard…hoarders. 😐

We acquired our collection from the bankrupt Yahk Museum in the 80’s just minutes before the whole thing went up for auction. [pretty sweet right??] And there was so. much. stuff. Not necessarily in volume, but put the emphasis on stuff. At the time, it was awesome to just have a collection! But a few decades (and longer than my lifetime) of un-checked accepting of donations has left us with a brutal number of duplicates of duplicates that duplicated. Like type writers. and harrows. They are like bunnies. So before we spend this house worth of money on a storage system, we have to decide what can be kept and what can go without remorse to maximize room for what is kept and what will enter the collection in the future.

Speaking of bunnies… in the mean time, Bunny and her mini inventory army are a machine; though if you’ve ever been in the office, you know you can hear upstairs quite well. So from downstairs, it makes for better listening than the comedy chanel!

{if you don’t know/remember Bunny, that is actually her name. And she is concentrated awesome.}

‘Why the heck do we even have this???’

‘I’m positive I just saw a small herd of those on that other shelf…’

‘HOW. MANY. WRENCHES. AND. SEWING. MACHINES. DO. WE. REALLY. NEED?!?!?!’

*crashbangclatterclatterthunk* “Everything ok up there??”

‘Oh. It’s GREEEEAAT….just getting chased by a bed pan….”

Another perk to my job. I get to listen to Bunny. [win for me.]  And she is very creative too! Usually when the insane idea train leaves the station, it’s generally Tammy or I in the conductors hat. But this time, we don’t get the blame-errrr…credit.

Bunny has traveled quite a lot. During one of her stops, she saw this sidewalk that had her absolutely enamored…

so she talked to the board. and she arranged. and she sorted said excess of stuff. and she put Helen the accessioning lady on the case. and they found them.

THE EXPENDABLES!!!

OH, hahaha….no no no…not those expendables…

THEEEEESE expendables…

THE EXPENDABLES!!!!

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This motley bunch of exclusively hand selected tools was chosen specifically for their state of brokenness, redundancy, and metal/iron composition. If you’re not thinking either one of us is completely nuts by this point, just hold on. We’ve almost made it to the point of this post.

We called concrete guys. And they did the thing that they do with the concrete. And then. AAAAAANND then. We put the stuff in the concrete.

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me taking a picture of Tammy taking a picture.

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It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of planning and preparation it takes to get the ‘random’ look. Like the time it takes to craft the perfect messy bun.

IF YOU THINK IT JUST HAPPENS YOU ARE SORELY MISTAKEN OR HAVE BEEN THOROUGHLY LIED TO REPEATEDLY!

Because this random scattering of said chosen stuff was ANYTHING but random. There was so much planning and placing and strategic plotting we probably could of re-built the Twin Towers. k, I’m exaggerating.

How does this even work…my shirt made it through playing in CONCRETE, but was slain by spaghetti sauce that evening. life can be cruel. first world problems.

But the best and funniest part I think both Tammy and I found was just how much fun the big burly macho concrete guys had laying the stuff in the sidewalk with us! It was a regular laugh fest! Which made me smile because if there is one thing I love more than chocolate, it is seeing people laugh and smile. And the guys were so proud of it too!! If they ever decide to get out of laying pretty, smooth concrete, they certainly have a calling in laying pretty, smooth concrete with stuff in it.

And here at the Museum, we L.O.V.E. it!!!

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the words came from a sign that said ‘Creston Post Office’. This, for the Record, was not my idea. That is not to say I don’t seize in a fit of uncontrollable giggles every time I walk by it.

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So we now have an ‘I Spy’ sidewalk!! It is really amazing…I’m not going to tell you what all we have in it, you will need to come down and see for your self what all you can find!!

Would you like to help ensure we can continue to collect wonderful educational stuff? We are incredibly grateful for any donations, and donations of $50 and up will receive a tax receipt.

Stop in, or give us a call at 250-428-9262

Cheers for now!

Model T in the Blossom Fest Parade

**SUPER UPDATE**

‘THE T’ WILL OFFICIALLY BE RUNNING IN THE CRESTON BLOSSOM FEST PARADE SATURDAY MAY 16TH!!

HOORAY!!

truck 1model t

I suppose one could call our Model T a little bit of an attention hog. *forcefully whispers* It ‘caught the bug’. It has ‘The Spotlight Hunger’. Newspaper articles, interviews with CBC, near viral appearances on social media…

You just might be able to call it a bit of a celebrity.

**HISTORICAL SELF FIVE!**

self five

and, like any good celebrity, it would totally be a gracious home-grown came from nothing celeb and thank you for making it what it is today. So since it’s a truck and, also therefore an inanimate object, and also therefore doesn’t have hands, it can’t hi-5 you. I will do that for the truck.

internet five

So now that we have it all restored and running and stuff…we are hoping to have it out in the public a lot more. It is no stranger to events though, it has made a few appearances in the past… The last time it was in the Blossom Fest Parade was in 2001 when it was displayed on a flat deck (before it had any work past a new paint job and a canvas cover put on the box).

2003 saw it displayed at Kokanee Ford during a Ford Motor Company 100th Anniversary Antique Car Show. The ’21 was the oldest vehicle there!

2009 was the first time it ran since we acquired it in the 80’s when a Model T club from Calgary passed through, found the truck, [freaked out just a little from excitement], and borrowed some parts off their cars and had it chugging along within HALF AN HOUR!!

So now that it is drive-able {forward and backwards} and the glitches and wrinkles of a nearly century old vehicle have been worked and ironed out, it’s time to hit the pavement and roll!

We are hoping to see you there! Parade is scheduled to start @ 11:00am

Link your #ParadePictures of the Truck to us! #CrestonMuseum #ModelT #Rollinlikeits1921

Want to read the full story on the Model T? Click here

2015 AGM

My appologies for the delay! Friday April 24th was our 2015 AGM, and um…I don’t think it would be an atrocious stretch if one was to say it was a doozey.

When Tammy sets her mind to making an impression, you better believe it’s gonna be a good one! The theme of this years AGM was the centennial of the Battle of St. Julien.

Everyone has heard of the Battle of Ypres, [of course], but this one seems to get ‘lost in the fog’ so to speak. {too soon?}

St. Juliens significance lies in that this battle was the first time Chlorine gas had been deployed on Canadian Soldiers. St. Julien actually ended up consisting of a few costly smaller skirmishes, grouped together to make its own part as one of the many battles that Ypres consisted of. Complicated enough? The kick start of this battle was the fight at Kitchener Wood.

Perhaps the most famous illustration of the Battle of Kitchener Wood

Truth be told, it kind of makes for kind of an awkward underdog mini-saga kinda thing. It started with a rather ill prepared advancement. uhh… *clears throat* …k; um…EXTREMELY ill prepared.

As in –> no night combat training –> no ground recon –> zero intelligence on enemy position, strength, etc  –> no communication or coordination between the two advancing units…just a go get em’ boys…

ill prepared.

oh. did i mention the battle only lasted 15 min?

 

 

a little dumbfounding.

I think whirlwind would be a brutal understatement. Buuuuut…the Canadian/English side won, and got one heck of a compliment from a German prisoner, who was recorded as saying “You fellows fight like hell.” Despite this rather generous statement, it is not to be said that there was not grave losses on both sides. Of the 816 men of the 16th battalion that went into the wood, only 193 came out.

Over the next day or so, a series of advancements and retreats on either side continued, until dawn the morning of April 24 1915. Soldiers described a yellow-green cloud smelling of pineapple and pepper rolling toward them. This marked the beginning of the Battle of St. Julien.

For our AGM we aimed for a very interactive experience, and so we had an incredible local artisan make us up a pineapple pepper smelling salt and WOW! it smelled like ~R@iNbOw$~ and $uMMeR b@rBeQue$. which is actually really horrible considering what the implications of the smell were. so she added some pure eucalyptus for a little bit of a burn. which ironically made it smell even better even though your eyes were morphing into searing waterfalls. So I suppose it just becomes this vicious and sadistic circle of doom. {that smelled fabulous}

I can actually and truthfully say that I have been exposed to a form of chlorine gas before, (long story short, a faulty respirator…), and I have but two words…

NOT. FUN.

The worst part of it is that the soldiers in the position getting the full brunt of the chlorine gas had NO equipment to handle it. Someone spread word that if you peed on a kerchief (or the cotton pad in your ‘gas mask’) and held it to your face the ammonia would neutralize the chlorine.

**PLOT TWIST**

chlorine and ammonia actually create another bad gas. so needless to say the urine masks didn’t do so much. Chlorine gas doesn’t just affect the respiratory system either, it is highly acidic and so burns most things exposed, like eyes and skin.

So the smelling salts was as immersive as we could get in that area. There were lots more artifacts to check out and handle, and Tammy even found a way to get a DVD onto a digital picture frame (she is definitely the more techno-literate one of the two of us)

an artifact display with lots of goodies

 

We filled this backpack with rocks, it weighed about 50 lbs. The soldiers kits came in to about 60lbs

We filled this backpack with rocks, it weighed about 50 lbs. The soldiers kits came in to about 60lbs

I on the other hand, ran away to the kitchen! {I am a total foodie/ culinary snob, and the fact I had a semi industrial kitchen to play in made me one veeeeery happy young lady…} Put it this way. I almost refuse to move back out of the house because my families kitchen reno saw the addition of an incredible gas range. HOW can I even go back to a boring old electric element stove? *first world problems*

The meal was quite the conversation topic though! That, was immersive too! Tammy and I tend to have this very similar sick twisted sense of humor, and when we decide to run with it, WATCH OUT!!

[hee hee]

We thought, “instead of serving lasagna or chili or whatever else you typically get and just talking about how much the food sucked in the trenches…why don’t we make em’ sweat a little and serve them only the portions?”

There’s me on the far right being a bossy boots. *note serious hand on hip* The cadets that came out to help KILLED IT!! couldn’t of done it without them!!

 

and so it became a game of russian roulette…your ticket had one of three colours, and you followed a soldiers journey through one of those three colours. At the end, you went to the table with your colour, and you got {roughly} the meal he would of ate. (minus the dirt, rats and lice) He was either at training camp and ate very well, in the trenches and ate a can of corn beef and a bun, and if you were following a POW or deceased soldier, you got a very measly portion of thin veggie soup and a piece of chocolate (the red cross came today, you lucky fellow you…)

To say that some of the reactions were gratifying would be ~highly~ accurate.

another satisfied customer

These lucky people got the highly coveted training camp meal

Combat meal and the lovely ladies serving

 

 

A meal similar to what was received in POW camps, soup made from dried veggies, and if you were lucky the red cross came with luxuries like chocolate

 

We WERE nice and brought out a good spread of food after for seconds…*cough*….thirds… for those still hungry (we do have a heart ❤ )

But we figured it would spoil the illusion if we said ‘here ya go eat practically nothing cuz that’s what the guys had but hey there’s a table there for you after…’ Was pretty effective actually!

I have to say though, the display’s turned out pretty darn cool. The amount of homework that went into this is astonishing…combined, Tammy figures there was about 500 hours worth of research. 500!!!!! That’s about 20 whole days. Day and night. Almost a month straight non stop. The majority was done by John Dinn, wholy man that man did some incredible work!! I don’t know where he got some of the information he did, but obviously he pulled the Aces, because he got some great stuff!!

We were pretty excited about the turnout…

And at the end of the dinner we even got a show from the cadet band!!

Nice job!!

In summary, I seriously am lost as to how we are ever going to come anywhere close to this next year. But hey, that’s half the fun 😉 Thanks to everyone who volunteered, Skip, Colin, Ian, Betty, Trudy, Cadets, anyone I may have missed because my brain is rather scattered today… You all made it a fun evening that will be talked about for a while to come!

 

Fresh new look

Hey Guys!

So here I am with a bit of an update. Remember these guys?

This guy is getting turned into a 'dry tank', to show the use of the underwater fish traps (it's currently just hanging on the wall)

This guy is getting turned into a ‘dry tank’, to show the use of the underwater fish traps (ours is currently just hanging on the wall)

This one here will house our mini canoe, as well as arrow heads, spear tips, and various other hunting tools

This one here will house our mini canoe, as well as arrow heads, spear tips, and various other hunting tools

well, after much work, much fly body disposal, and much contorting myself into small awkward spaces for prolonged periods of time… WE HAVE FINISHED PRODUCTS!!!

TA DA!!

little bit of hunting/game & tools

Display on hunting/game & tools…              For some pretty cool information on the arrow and spear heads in this display, click below…

BELOW

an inhabitant of our new 'fish tank' displaying a twig bait trap

an inhabitant of our new ‘fish tank’ displaying a traditional branch fish trap

Now keep in mind, these pictures are only so good…you’ll have to come see them in person 😉

I have to say, after the initial exasperation of re-surfacing and sanding and vacuuming innumerable fly bodies and cobwebs {from sitting for so long} and various other ickies, as things started to come together, this project was SO. MUCH. FUN.

We won’t mention the words that came out of a surprised electricians mouth when he realized there was a person in the tall display case (at this time I was sitting cross legged completely inside the case facing the back stapling felt to the sliding doors…[the sliding doors that would not come off their tracks]…forcing me to come to the realization of how tiny I actually am, and how un-flexible I have become after a year of nose-in-books for school)

If we are being completely honest though it was actually pretty funny…

The ‘fish tank’ was pretty great too. I mean, really…getting to go to the river on a gorgeous sunny day to collect materials…I think my job might be incredible.

A certain someone definitely didn’t mind keeping me company and getting to join in the collecting either!

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Trying to convince me to play his favourite river game.

Putting that one together reminded me of when I kept some pretty crazy fish. One of the best parts about fish is getting to set up and mix up their aqua-scapes. No water got added to this one (obviously), but the illusion is pretty good I must say! Especially thanks to the clear string that suspends the swimbait lures (thanks again for those Rindy!)

These guys are apparently nothing for lifelike compared to some of the ones I was looking at though…check this dude out…unfortunately they are quite a hit on the pocket book. Maybe one day 😛

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But making these displays look as realistic as possible wasn’t just about them looking good. [although it actually kinda was]…It was about communicating their story, doing justice to the role each thing played as accurately as possible. Some things are quite delicate, like the itty-bitty arrowheads, so they have to be tucked away safely in frames. But other things, like the iconic sturgeon nose canoe, although still delicate, leave just a little more room for creativity!

Hmm…that gets me thinking though…maybe I should do a post chronicling all the things in these new display cases? What do you think?