Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

June 18, 2013

Pioneer Days gets kids away from electronics, down to nitty-gritty

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Kerens — It’s the hands-on activities that bring kids back each year to enjoy Pioneer Days. Although their everyday lives are about stuff on screens — cell phones, television, video games — Pioneer Days is about getting their hands dirty, and sometimes climbing trees.

Pioneer Days is a summer program that takes school-aged children to Pioneer Village, where they learn about how the early settlers lived and worked.

Sameteeta Chunara was hoping they’d get to do the carving in wood again, she admitted Monday.

“I liked the blacksmith shop, and they gave us a block of wood and we carved our initials in it,” she said, describing last year’s fun.

But Pioneer Days isn’t just the same thing over and over. Run by volunteers, Pioneer Days brings the talents of the volunteers into play. This year, for example, kids learned how to process vegetables — snapping beans, shucking corn, and of course, there’s the highlight of the cowboy breakfast made over an open fire. The children were also introduced to the tradition of Native American face painting, and they took part in a scavenger hunt.

Activities in the past had Kendall Clarke and her friend Scout Bancroft returning this year. Bancroft recalled being asked to design a brand for Pioneer Village.

Kendall recalled the year they go to milk goats.

“It’s a great experience. We got to make butter,” Clarke said.

Pioneer Days will continue Tuesday at Pioneer Village in Jester Park. On Wednesday, the Corsicana Parks and Recreation Department starts three days of bowling lessons.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com