Rural schools in our area try to remind local children how our world has changed over the decades. Living here 20 or 30 years ago is vastly different to what it is now. So the schools bring together local craftsmen and artisans to show the children how their ancestors once lived. This teaches them history, and opens up avenues for new experiences and self-reliance. They call it Frontier Days.
Usually there is a wide variety of participants, but this year due to weather and unforeseen personal circumstances, (some broken bones and doctor visits) attendance was down. But the children still had a wonderful time and learned new things.
A local band set up in the library and played folk music. A member of the band is a retired music teacher, and she brought along some old instruments and gave the children a talk and allowed them to try each piece.
The students learned about making butter and got a taste of the ‘real’ stuff. They also learned about crocheting, knitting, and weaving.
There was also a local rug maker who demonstrated her craft of making braided rugs.
And a local artist came with an assortment of his work and painted a picture for them.
Local wildlife is very important to our community, so the local Wildlife Conservation Officer was there discussing animals, their habitats, and how to safely interact with them. On the domestic side, a local woman who trains Service Animals brought a dog and explained the importance of them in the lives of so many.
Many years ago, our way of life here was much different in many ways. One such way was the play time of local children. It is hard for most young people today to conceive of play time without television, DVDs, internet, NETFLIX, video games, or cell phones. So some of the teachers provided ‘old time toys’ for them. And in the hallway, I found a ‘wooden pony race’ going on. The children seemed charmed by this, and hopefully it sparked a desire to put aside the electronics for a time and really get down and play. Because that is the best experience of all. Real imagination that leads to ideas and inventions and exercises both body and mind. And that is what being a country kid is all about.