History and archaeology camps at historic Pensacola Village

04/01/2012
Field Trip Destination

Historic Pensacola Village is a part of the museum complex of West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. For 45 years, the organization has preserved the historical heritage of the city, and continues under the stewardship of the University of West Florida.

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The Village contains a mix of guided and self guided museums. The guided museums include the 1805 Charles Lavalle House, the 1832 Old Christ Church, the 1871 Clara Barkley Dorr House, and the 1890 Lear-Rocheblave House. The self guided museums include the 1907 T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, the 1885 Pensacola Historical Museum, the Museums of Commerce and Industry, the Manual Barrios Cottage, the Julee Panton Cottage, and the McMillan House.

West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. is dedicated to collecting, educating, preserving, and interpreting the history of Northwest Florida. West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., and partner Florida Public Archaeology Network, offer History and Archaeology Camps each summer for students entering fourth through sixth and seventh through ninth grades.

Education Through Play

The week long summer History and Archaeology Camps offer Pensacola’s heritage through hands-on activities and crafts, as well as museum visits and tours. Throughout the camps, campers apply reading, writing, science, math, and reasoning skills in fun real world applications. The fourth through sixth grade campers try their hands at many activities throughout the week, such as Colonial Gardening and Herbs. Campers explore the three uses of herbs in Colonial Pensacola: aromatic, culinary, and medicinal, all while cultivating their own herb plant. Colonial Gardening incorporates history and science as campers learn the basics of the plant growth cycle.

The Candle Activity illustrates how colonial Pensacolians lighted their daily lives before electricity. Campers explore the different kinds of waxes available in colonial times, and campers learn how to make a dipped candle or a honeycomb candle.

In the Butter Activity, campers learn how to make homemade butter that would be similar to what colonial children might have made.

The Build a Boat Activity educates campers on the history of maritime Pensacola, the science behind sailing, and the practice of celestial navigation, all while using everyday materials in a hands on activity.

Pensacola has 450 years of history buried beneath the modern city. The Colonial Archaeological Trail flows throughout downtown Pensacola with markers explaining what lies beneath the city. To illustrate how archaeologists explore the history that is hidden beneath the streets and waterways, campers enjoy Cookie Excavation and Underwater Drawing. In the cookie excavation exercise campers are given the tools of archaeologists, paintbrushes and toothpicks, and a candy-laden cookie with each color representing an artifact. The campers learn how to excavate their “artifacts” with their tools.

In Underwater Drawing, a collection of “artifacts” are deposited into the “bay” and each camper must draw a detail of the artifacts as seen under the water. The campers learn that a ship from the 1559 Luna fleet was discovered right off shore in 1992, but it was not until 2006 that a second ship from the same fleet was found buried near the first excavation.

The culmination of the week-long camp is the Build a Museum Exhibit. The Curator of Exhibits for West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., explains the basics of exhibit curation and design as the campers tour the flagship museum in the complex, the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum.

More Camp Info

Pensacola History and Archaeology Camps are a part of the University of West Florida’s Explore Summer Camps program.

Field Trips at Historic Pensacola Village

Education is a vital component of the mission of West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., and field trips are very important to a child’s discovery of the community around them.

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