Ellen M. Rosenthal - President & CEO
Someone asked me recently what makes me get up every morning and come to work. I had to think for minute to focus on what really moves me about my work at Conner Prairie. Certainly, I love history and enjoy sharing it with others. But, I am really energized by the thought that families are learning together about a range of topics here. I like the idea that at Conner Prairie children can become excited about learning in ways they sometimes cannot in a classroom.
I recently heard the story of triplet girls about to turn five that come here frequently with their mother, Susan. Susan reports that each girl is very much her own person and is apt to favor different activities at Conner Prairie. They sometimes disagree about what to do first, whether to visit Craft Corner and make soap, weave or bead necklaces (Mom notes that staff member Debby has been a wonderful teacher) or to try out hands-on activities in Science Lab. But, there is always consensus on visiting the newly-hatched chicks at Animal Encounters. They love to hold the chicks, feeling the softness of their fur and hearing their quiet chirps. After playing with the animals, they watch staff members such as Kevyn and Enzo straighten and clean up the barn. Mom is delighted that the girls' help is always welcomed; even though six little hands cannot really lessen the burden.
The triplets also always agree to become part of an activity in Prairietown, helping to crush herbs, working in a garden, assisting with dyeing cloth.
These three girls have not yet started kindergarten, but they understand so much: what comes out of an egg, that herbs grow in the garden and have different smells, and that children who lived years ago did things differently than they do today. Think about how these understandings will play into their academic lives as they study biology, botany and history. Think about how positively they will view learning experiences as they mature. Think about how actively they will be engaged in their own children's education. And last but not least, think how much our community benefits from having places like Conner Prairie.
It makes me smile to hear that Susan and her triplets have become Conner Prairie members and intend to grow in their understandings and involvement here in the years to come.
Cabin fever. Winter doldrums. Snow fatigue. Whatever you prefer to call it, it’s the dead of winter and folks are tired of staying indoors. No sooner does the sun come out and the temperatures warm up a little (and by warm I mean the 30s or 40s), than my hopes of an early spring are quickly dashed by another onslaught of snow and ice.
So what’s a person to do until spring? Indoor activities such as seeing a movie, going bowling, or watching football (sorry about the Colts!) are likely weekend diversions, but what about the kids? Little ones crave physical exercise and mental stimulation, and building yet another snowman isn’t likely to divert them for long.
Here’s what you can do: Bundle up the family and bring them to Conner Prairie. We have indoor activities designed to entertain the children and give mom and dad a needed respite. Visit Discovery Station
where the children can engage in meaningful hands-on play with an historic theme. Stop by Craft Corner
, watch the video, look at the indoor historic exhibits, take a picture of the kids next to the cannon in the Great Hall, or shop in The Museum Store
. All this winter fun is free for members and only $5 for non-members, with limited weekend hours during the remainder of the winter months. Call us in Guest Services for details.
Don’t spend another weekend in front of the TV. Come on over to Conner Prairie and stretch your legs as well as your mind!