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I don’t know about you but I have one child who likes to make what she calls ‘mixes’.  Often these mixes involve an array of disconnected ingredients that clump together, are then microwaved, then frozen and often found buried or leaking in the freezer months later! Despite the appearance of said mix, the process and sometimes the product are rewarding and definitely worth celebrating.  We at the Museum recently made our own ‘mix’. We gathered up our stuff, our programming, our people and left 910 Monaghan Road Peterborough for the Direct Energy Center in Toronto for 10 days to be a Show Feature at the Toronto International Boat Show.  Since being back at 910 Monaghan for a few days now and am experiencing the sickness that often follows these outreach events, I am reflecting on what ingredients we used in our mix. And yes, I would say that we feel like we’ve been microwaved and frozen.  Here is a list of the items I see figuring heavily in our mix:

Ingredients:

  • one 300 lb 16′ canoe form for canoe building demonstrations
  • 1 steam box and associated equipment
  • 4 shavehorses for paddle carving demonstrations and workshops
  • 200-300 Paddle to the Sea wooden cut outs and associated equipment
  • 5 full size canoe paddle workshop participants, their paddles, and associated equipment
  • 100 Soapstone pendants and associated equipment
  • 500 paper folding canoes and associated equipment
  • 1 Oru Kayak and 1 borrowed Oru kayak (thanks Bill!) Read the rest of this entry »
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Recognize this guy? We’re spending a lot of time together lately, he and I. Especially, since he needs a bit of help. Yes, it’s September, and around here in the Education Department we’ve got that delicious, fresh start, get-ready feeling.  While the teachers get to know their kids and their classes, we get a little window to do a burst of program creation, renovation, repairs & tweaking, based on all the ideas that our visitors, our animators, and our colleagues in experiential education share and inspire throughout the year.

One thing we hear a lot about is the prohibitive cost of buses, however reasonable our program fees are. Well, I’ve been unable to get past the rudimentary stages of class teleportation (physics was never my strongest subject). Instead, we’re turning our energies to developing outreach versions of our programs so that we can bring our hands-on programming to schools.  Truth be told, nothing beats the wonder kids (and adults) show when they come here (A waterfall in the building!  Canoes in the air!  “You mean I can touch that, really?!”). And even if I’m a wizard at packing the mini-van, it’ll never be able to carry the incredible context for programming that our collection here offers. Nonetheless, we’ve been having a great time figuring out the most engaging, curriculum-tied and uniquely museum-linked programming to take out of the building, in both official languages, no less!

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