Welcome back, bloggers! It has been a while, hasn’t it!? Well, here is a semi-quick update on everything going on with me before we get into the good stuff. I got married on May 30th (yay!) at Cocoa Beach, Florida, where I went all the time growing up. It was a great few days celebrating, and I can’t wait to see what married life brings to the table! In addition, I’ve been madly applying for jobs for when I graduate, and I am hoping a few of them pan out for me here in the future! I am in my last semester this fall and have already signed up for my classes. Luckily, since I’ve successfully defended my thesis, I only have to worry about two of them before I actual graduate. I’ll be binding my finalized thesis here soon, which is so exciting to me! It’s great to see my work on nice paper for everyone to read like a book! 🙂
June was the Great Outdoors Month, and what better way to celebrate than creating an exhibit about camping? This is exactly what I did June 27-28. June 27th was officially the Great American Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation. Since we are not able to camp out ourselves on the property, I decided that setting up an exhibit would be the best way to tie in both the National Park Service #findyourpark campaign, and the Great American Campout idea. I printed off handouts for each person to take home with them if they so choose, and they were able to sign their name and pledge where they were going to camp this year, whether it be in the Grand Tetons or right here in Arkansas.
This exhibit did much more than just set up a few tents and have kids play in them. It encouraged others to go out in the world and discover a new park or area around them that they had never been to before. The handouts were the Ten Essentials that every backpacker, day or overnight, should have in their backpack with them at all times. In addition, there was also a list of things to pack for the backpacker staying the night in the wilderness.
There were two tents sent up, one in the front (my persona tent!) and one of the back next to a great pictures of what the fields looked like back in 1957 when the 101st Airborne were camped outside the school. A small exhibit was created in our rotating exhibit case that featured the map of the US with all the National Park Sites around the country, as well as brochures of different sites across Arkansas. Lastly, we encouraged each person to go inside the two tents, one a 3 person and other 2, to see how they would feel camping in such a small area for weeks on end. It was a great experience, and ever more wonderful talking to the people from around the country who also enjoy camping!
From here, I hope to expand upon this idea of the soldiers and their experiences living in Arkansas during this time period. In September will be the anniversary of their arrival, and I will be asking a few speakers to come in and talk about the logistics in moving so many people to one location, as well as their behavior being in an urban environment as a solider who is training to be overseas fighting wars. It will also talk about how important it is to understand the fundamentals of being outdoors and even will feature a few stations to understand how to pack a backpack, how to set up a tent and maybe we can even learn to start our own camp fire!
I leave you mid-summer with the promise that I will be back sooner than last time and update you on all the wonderful things happening not only in may life, but here at Central High National Historic Site. I will be here full time until the end of the summer, when I go back to the Clinton Library and continue part time here. See you next time!