By Carly Loeper
Exhibit and Program Developer, Providence Childrens Museum
Learning to tie a square knot; making a blade of grass whistle; building with a hammer, nails, and scrap wood; experimenting to find the best solution for shining pennies; singing a silly song without a shred of self-consciousness. We can all recall childhood activities that were like special rites of passage timeless, open-ended, and magical in the journey, not the end result. Scouting supports school-age childrens self-discovery and connections with others through activities like these. I grew up as a venturesome young Scout and now, as a program developer at Providence Childrens Museum, I plan playful evening programs for a new generation of Scouts.
I moved to a new neighborhood as a shy second grader. Navigating the social rules in a different place was a challenge, but being a Scout helped me learn more about myself and what I liked to do. I discovered how much I enjoyed sharing ideas for skits and songs with my fellow Scouts. I will always remember trying to control the hysterical laughter when my friends and I performed a Scout song at camp by turning our heads upside down and drawing eyes on our chins. Similarly, a parent at a Girl Scout Overnight Adventure at the Childrens Museum remarked how delighted and shocked she was to see her quiet daughter deliver the punch line in a short group-written play. Scout programs support skills and challenges that stretch children to try different things and learn what theyre good at.
Through shared experiences, Scouts find common ground with children they might not ordinarily be friends with. I asked nine-year-old Korinne what she enjoyed about being a Junior Girl Scout. We do service projects and play a lot of games, but its not just about doing stuff. We get to know people we didnt know at all. During a recent Cub Scout evening at the Museum, small groups of Scouts were challenged to design a structure that could stand on its own using only dowels and rubber bands. I noticed two boys working independently next to each other. One child was supporting his building-in-progress with both hands and legs until his neighbor slid his construction closer and suggested, You want to add yours to mine? Together, they devised new strategies and were soon able to create a stick house they could both stand inside.
Action-packed Scout evenings and overnights at Providence Childrens Museum provide a series of fun, hands-on activities that encourage Scouts to explore their interests, expand their skills, and develop friendships with the added adventure of being at the Museum after hours!
Hollywood, Here We Come! Overnight Adventure
Junior Girl Scouts: March 6 and April 24
Calling all budding actors, directors, and cinematographers! Scouts take a whimsical look at the world behind the silver screen by experimenting with silly sound effects, designing moving pictures, and creating crazy creatures.
Cost: $35 per Scout, $18 per adult.
Go Figure! Try-It for Brownie Girl Scouts
February 13, March 13, and May 8
Brownies earn their Numbers and Shapes Try-It badge by cracking codes, constructing marble roller coasters and enormous stick structures, and puzzling through other cool challenges during this after-hours exploration.
Cost: $15 per Scout, $5 per adult.
Join the fun! For more information, including a brochure and registration form, visit the Museums website: www.childrenmuseum.org/scouts.asp.
News and Notes from Providence Childrens Museum: Occasional posts about things to do with our kids - from places to go, things to make, ideas to think about, and ways to explore.
Providence Childrens Museum - 100 South Street, Providence, RI. 401-273-5437 (KIDS)
Photo courtesy of Providence Children's Museum