Curator Kids program evokes interest in broad range of subjects

Curator Kids program offered at Penticton museum brings adventure to summer vacation.

Gold-panning, paleontology, orienteering, tracking, archaeology and exploring don’t sound like the usual activities one undertakes when visiting a museum, but for the kids enrolled in the Curator Kids program, that’s exactly what they get up to.

The Curator Kids program, which runs all year long, takes an interactive approach in introducing the kids to history — an approach which Manda Maggs, the program’s co-ordinator, said gets the kids “emotionally invested” in the experience. During one session, the aspiring curators dress up as pioneers and learn about the early settlers. Another session has the kids learning how to hunt, gather, orienteer, perform wilderness first aid and identify edible plants. She recalled one instance where one of the children in the program wanted to grow a garden after learning pioneers had to be self-sustaining.

“I don’t think it actually occurred to some of these kids that they could actually grow their own food,” she said.

For Maggs, giving the kids this first taste of history and science is really opening a door for them to possible passions and even careers.

“We want kids to be able to use this knowledge later in life,” she said. “You never really know what these kids will grow up to be, so if we can give them a bit of a hook or an interest in some of these subjects, that could lead them to be leading scientists or anthropologists or researchers, and I think that would be really great.”

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