By Kathleen SpringEach young camper held a lantern from the early 1900s and followed their guide through the mysteries of the Lyons Redstone Museum on the first day of the 2012 Lyons History Summer Day Camp. They first learned about how fire, then candles, lanterns, and finally electric lights changed the way of life of mankind. Then they went down the darkened hallways to discover how Lyons pioneer families lived their daily lives.
They learned about the early non-electrical appliances like toasters, mashers, and sewing machines. The day was completed with the group making their own faux stained glass candleholders.
It was the beginning of a week of great fun for the Lyons kids who attended the summer camp under the direction of resourceful camp supervisor Kathleen Spring. The word is spreading, and this year several kids returned and brought a friend. There was also a waiting list of an additional six children.
Their days were filled with stories of old-time Lyons, including a play where they acted out the parts of towns people, like the farmer, hunter, crafts person, banker, and more. The kids liked it so much that they asked to repeat it on Friday during their parents’ tour of the museum. Jade and Peyton Greenberg enjoyed dressing in the costumes.
Another day was spent on a treasure hunt. The kids searched for a list of items that the pioneers used, and they won gold coins and prizes. Can you name three ways to toast a piece of bread? Zoe Chase won for getting the most answers right.
Since it was Olympics week, one day was focused on sports. Coach Doug Johnson and his mother, Ginger, came to the museum to talk about his dad, Coach “Jet” Johnson. The kids learned about one of the most important and beloved sports persons in Lyons history. Coach Johnson brought Lyons High School football team, the Lions, to two state championships. The first one was in 1974 and the second one was in 1987. They were undefeated in their Class A-11 division.
Doug told anecdotes about sports that emphasized the importance of teamwork and supporting your teammate, no matter what. He said that as a kid it was his dream to be on his dad’s team, and, to his surprise, he was able to go to Lyons during his high school years. His team went on to win the championship! During the question and answer period, Doug thanked camper Pearl Haddad for her smart questions and good eye contact, the signs of a winner.
The kids followed that by playing a spirited game of soccer in the playground. Shenny and Harper Waugh loved the exercise and made sure everyone followed the rules. Volunteer, Kaitlyn Hynes was the cheerleader and score keeper. Everyone won a red-white-and-blue Olympic ribbon. Thanks to the Town Parks and Recreation department for setting up the nets.
Edward S. Lyon founded the town with the hopes of establishing a sandstone industry. It became a major success, and today it is still the backbone of Lyons economy, with stone shipped all over the world. After their daily healthy snack, the kids did a craft and/or a page in their super-size scrapbook, summarizing the day’s events in a fun, creative way. Gemma Powell and Lia Milato loved being creative and adding personalized touches to their albums. Volunteer, Georgi Pollard, helped on the day that the kids learned about Lyons sandstone quarries and other businesses. The craft was to paint a small slab of Lyons red sandstone to put in their home garden. Marley Chase painted pastel dots on hers, which matched her dress. Each year Western Stone has kindly contributed the stones to the campers’ project.
On the final day, the parents were invited to come to the museum and get a personalized tour from their child, along with viewing the “1900’s small town tale.” After enjoying cake and veggies, the kids grabbed their finished albums to share with their grandparents, best friends, neighbors, and more. Thanks to the Lyons Community Foundation for the grant that equally shares the cost of the camp with the parents. It is a great way for more and more people each year to learn about their town’s history and share it.