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Grand Village hosting discovery events

The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will have its annual Discovery Week for children ages 7 to 10 from 9 a.m. until noon June 16 through 20.

Registration fee for Discovery Week is $40 and is limited to 15 participants, so sign up early.

Little Discovery Week is for children ages 5 and 6 and is from 10 a.m. to noon June 23 to 27. Registration fee for Little Discovery Week is $25 and space is limited to 10 children. Registration deadline is May 30.

At Discovery Week, campers will learn about Native Americans, French settlers and nature from our wonderful volunteers who each specialize in their crafts, including pottery, weaponry, archery, storytelling and games.

The students not only get to hear about people from 300 years ago, they get to do some of the same crafts done by the natives of the Natchez area and take their projects home with them at the end of camp.

Each weekday offers a special program and craft, in which the volunteers teach what they know and allow the students to participate. While the kids think they are just there to have fun, they are really learning.

When our campers go back to school and start learning about Native Americans and Mississippi history, they will know more about the subject than their friends who stayed at home watching television this summer.

This year’s Discovery Week is exciting.

Monday, the children will learn about Native American pottery techniques and make their own pottery.

This is a really fun day for the children because it is also the dirtiest, and for some reason how dirty you get is directly related to how much fun you have.

Children will also learn the game stickball, and many other Native American games, which is a lot of fun and always a Discovery Week favorite.

Tuesday, they will divide into groups and learn archery from Robin Persons, prehistoric mammals from Jim Barnett, and about snakes and some other key things to look out for on our nature walk from Kay McNeil.

Wednesday, we have Native American Storytelling by local librarian Marianne Raley.  The kids love her stories and usually go home and repeat them to everyone who will listen.

On Thursday, Wilkie Collins, who has helped us for nearly two decades, will show and demonstrate Native American tools and weapons. His flint knapping skills always fascinate everyone. Camp ends with French colonial re-enactor Clark Burkett. He will teach the children how Frenchman in the 1700s would have survived in this area.

The children will learn how to start a fire using flint, steel and char cloth, and they will get to throw a real tomahawk.

Friday, we will also have our picnic at 11 a.m. when families of attending children are welcome to picnic with the children and visit the site.

This is an important picnic because this is when the camper’s learn their American Indian names.

Little Discovery Week is June 23 to 27 and is for students ages 5 and 6.

This camp is a little different than our older kids camps. The children will learn about Native Americans through stories, craft projects and special guest speakers.

We will have pottery on Monday with Pat Martin.  She is a fun teacher who really knows how to spark children’s imaginations.

On Tuesday, Director Jim Barnett will teach the children about archaeology with a mock dig site. Wednesday is a special treat with librarian Marianne Raley telling Native American stories. Thursday we will learn about nature, which will include gardening, bugs and snakes. Friday will conclude with our picnic and naming ceremony at 11 a.m.

If you are interested in adding a little excitement, knowledge and outdoor activity to your child’s life this June, come down to the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians and register your child or grandchild now.

The $40 registration fee for Discovery Week includes a tee shirt, certificate and all of the crafts your child makes while at camp. Little Discovery Week only costs $25 and includes all of the supplies for their craft projects.

You must come by the Grand Village to receive health forms, permission requests and to pay the fee.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration deadline is May 30.

For further information, please call 601-446-6502 or stop by the Grand Village located at 400 Jefferson Davis Blvd.


Becky Martin Anderson is a historian at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.