Monthly Archives: August 2015

Volunteer Opportunity: Rosedale Development Association

Rosedale Development Association is seeking a volunteer with an interest in archiving and exhibit creation to transform our collection of historic photographs, maps, and documents into a catalogued archive. Rosedale is a racially, economically, and geographically diverse neighborhood in Kansas City, KS, originally founded in the late nineteenth century by the budding the railroad industry and KU Hospital and Medical Center. (Turns out it’s more than just a great place to get barbeque, barbeque, barbeque,and check out the beautiful memorial arch!)  One-semester or two-semester positions are available, with a inventory creation focus in the fall, leading into a community historical exhibit in the spring. The volunteer archivist will be teamed with a recent graduate from the KU Museum Studies masters program who oversees the project. Archivist may create their own schedule during business hours. Project will take approximately 60 hours total each semester.

To apply for this volunteer opportunity, please email your resume and one paragraph explanation of your interest in the project to Adrianne Showalter Matlock at by September 2, 2015.

So Long and Thanks for all the…History

by Savannah Lore

My internship has come to an end today. I will still be working with the Wornall-Majors House Museum but this is my last post for the summer internship. I have had the opportunity to do some very interesting programs with Wornall-Majors. I have to thank our director Kerrie Nichols, program director Sarah Bader-King and Leah Palmer for all the help and advice. I think my time would not have been as worthwhile with their help. I got the chance to work events, give tours, research for a tour script (which is in the final stages of editing as we speak), and so many other experiences. I think I learned so much through the hands on experiences and I think it is so much easier to visualize all of these public history theories/ideas with that context. I also like that I became much better at talking to the public. I learned so much from just being with the public and interpreting history through tours. I got to experience sometimes one-on-one what works in interpretation with smaller tours. I think I took so much away from working the summer camps as well. I realized what goes into this: lesson plans for activities, planning presenters, and keeping great records. I think I never realized how much work it takes or planning. (Leah Palmer deserves more praise for her amazing work at the summer camps, and how much she taught me about what goes into creating this venture.)

So, thank you for the experience. I am glad to share some of the things I have learned. I have learned so much more but I feel I wrapped in up in a nice presentation for all of you.

Is it really all fun and games?

By Savannah Lore

I have come full circle in my time working the Wornall-Majors Summer camp. I have worked a full camp though it was parts and pieces of different camps. Today’s theme was Frontier Living. It was all about things people had to do and make to survive on the frontier. We did chores and activities like butter making, candle making, weaving, dance games and rope making.Caroline and Esmae

Here are some of our campers making butter. Some silliness is required to making very long task enjoyable.

So, a little about what I learned. From my entire experience, I have noticed a few things about interpreting history with children. The first is that doing interpretation is hard. Very Hard. Some of the times, I could just tell that they did not care. Either they got sidetracked by the activities or the just thought it was boring. And itt was hard to tell exactly what activity they would find interesting. I think it is also hard to talk seriously when they are doing projects that are a lot of fun. One day we had a presenter talk about the Underground Railroad, I think the presenter was good but the kids had to sit and listen without a craft to do. So, they lost focus easily. I think that the group also effects what they listen to or what they like because some times they do not focus or need more information. (We had young kids aged 6-12, some of the younger ones had way shorter attention spans.)

The second thing is I found it very hard to make something they thought was only one way but inform them of another idea. The first day was all about Native American cultures and I found myself wanting to talk much more seriously and at length about somethings that I thought needed to be explained to them, like why we use Native American and not “Indian.” This was also the only day that did not have a presenter (for scheduling reasons and other difficulties) and I think that would have given us a chance to talk more about the history of Native Americans and their culture. I think that this is not the problem of the program but a difficulty with interpreting history with children. I have also saw problems about teaching sensitive subjects like Native American culture. I think it is hard for the kids to understand that this isn’t a costume or a game and these are part of a culture and a people’s identity. So, at times, I can see that kids will unintentionally take the activities to that cultural appropriation line when we are trying hard to get them to respect and understand a culture.

The main lesson here is that it is very hard to get children to understand and focus on the history you are interpreting and making them respectful towards that information.