To the Next Curator,
Camp Kawanhee is a magical place, with a strong community, and a history filled with so many happy memories. I worked at the camp during the 2019 season as the History Intern in the Kawanhee Museum. The position I held was for 8 weeks, including pre-camp.
I came to be at Kawanhee after looking for an internship for my Museum Studies and Anthropology degree. It was a great place to learn new skills in a small setting. I do believe that those who apply to the program have to be self-motivating and will be ok with working on projects alone (although if you are in need of help there are so many individuals who would be happy to lend a hand). I believe this position would fit a wide variety of skill sets. Individuals who might be going into the educational field and have an interest in small museums and who want to try planning activities or incorporating a lesson plan in the Museum could be a strong fit. I also believe that anyone who has an interest in history would enjoy Kawanhee and what it has to offer.
The Kawanhee Museum is one of the first buildings you set eyes upon when coming into the Camp. It holds a wealth of information, and there are so many things that you be able to do, that at the beginning you might feel overwhelmed. I know one of the things that kept me focused was a goal sheet, and writing down what I hoped to accomplish over the summer after familiarizing myself with the museum. The opportunities inside the Museum are endless, and because it is the 100th this year you will be in a unique position to get creative and come up with some exciting ideas that will be a part of such a memorable year.
Everyone at camp is happy to help you, if you have any questions or concerns. Mike Altmier is the historian for the camp, and was instrumental in many of my projects. He knows the history of the camp, and will be one of your greatest resources, when gaining your footing. He was always available to answer any questions I had and was super helpful with any of my ideas.
Many of my project were focused on items inside of the museum. I worked on projects that involved physical material available at Kawanhee. However, because the position is so open you may choose to do something entirely different, and that would also be fantastic!
Some of the projects I worked on are as followed. I worked on several timeline posters that went up to the Kawanhee Inn. I also worked on organizing slides in the museum, by date/year into binders. At the end of the season I created posters for the history kiosks that are set around camp, I did not however put them up, and this could be a project for next year. I also matted the exhibits in the museum, and reorganized some of the displays. One of the biggest projects that I worked on was the organization of the photos, grouping them, and also categorizing them, this is by no means a complete project but it is a starting point and was beneficial to me when looking for certain photographs.
In Macy’s letter last year, she described the lodging as rustic and I couldn’t agree more. To add upon that description, I lived in what was called the Barracks at the back of camp, each section is made up of 3-4 rooms with a shared bathroom. I lived with three of the kitchen boys, who were all pleasant and respectful.
You also have the opportunity to help around camp in addition to your Museum work, I helped Macy in the store last summer, did nightman duty, and covered a lodge in camp when needed. I did not have my license when interning at camp, and I felt that it might have been more beneficial if I did, it would have been helpful on my days off, and for helping drive campers to their various destinations.
The position at Camp Kawanhee is also unique because you are able to do things outside of the museum. A couple of times during free time I would head over to the art building and work on some pottery or sit on the athletic fields and watch a baseball or soccer game. After working in the store I would sometimes go for a swim or watch little league. There are so many different opportunities and you are encouraged to try them all!
I had a great experience this summer, it was an opportunity that I am thankful for, working in the Kawanhee Museum there were so many great moments from working on long term projects that were finally realized by the end of camp or just interacting with campers and helping them find what they needed in the Museum. Camp Kawanhee is special and I cannot wait to hear what the next curator does!