story & photo
by K.A. Breton
I remember what it was like growing up and going camping with my family. It was a simpler time. Today, in our busy 21st century lives, we are usually too busy to do the “old-fashioned” vacation.
On June 26, the Leffingwell House Museum is giving everyone a chance to get back-to-basics with the “Great American Backyard Campout National Wildlife Federation.” The event will be held at the museum, 348 Washington Street in Norwich. The museum is a specialized wildlife location.
Folks are asked to bring their own camping equipment, tents and sleeping bags, along with a food to share. A $20 per-tent donation will be shared with National Wildlife Federation, and if you are sleeping over a $5 donation to defray costs. Everything else will be provided by the museum.
Melodye Whatley, a member of the museum said, “This will be a chance to give back to our children what they don’t even know they have lost. Parents are encouraged to trade websites for a campsite and screen time for a green time.”
Ron Ward, another member said, “I am looking forward to the campout. It is very exciting and all about the kids. By us opening our doors to the Great American Backyard Campout, we are hoping the kids get excited and will develop a love for history, connecting with the museum and what is going on there. Kids being outdoors in a natural learning environment stimulate their imaginations, and they get to move around and be active – learning skills and playing with friends.” He continued on, “Many of the kids do not understand that a microwave or stove is not the only way to cook.” They will be cooking on an open fire for meals and roasting marshmallows.
Along with campfire cooking, there will also be a potluck dinner, a scavenger hunt, worm race, graces, croquet, bird blind building, insect identification, hula-hooping and music and dance from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Reservations are not required, but you are asked to register online at www.backyardcampout.org or call the Leffingwell House Museum and leave a message, 860.887.9000.