Meira Bienstock photo

BETHEL— For the past six years, Volunteer Rosemary Laban has been running the Mornings at the Museum, a group of free outdoor activities sponsored by the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society, funded entirely through donations.

The program runs from July 1-29, every Thursday from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. It is for children, ages 5-10 years old. Each child participating must be accompanied by an adult.

Last week there were 60 children who participated, making it a great way for kids to make new friends, explains Laban.

“(It’s) something for kids to do in the summer. It gets people to revisit museums here. (It) gets new and younger blood touring the museum, and makes history fun,” says Laban with a smile.

The program is not consecutive. Any child can come at any given week and still be up to speed with the fun and games the other children played during other weeks. There are 10 student docents who run the activities. Some are hoping to become teachers or coaches one day.

“I am most proud that I have them,” Laban says cheerfully.

She also has five adults who help run the activities.

The activities range from arts and crafts to tying a history lesson and a gardening lesson together. This past week, the children each made a chess board (painting the squares with their favorite color) as well as making checkers, cutting up dowels.

The fun doesn’t stop there.

As they are doing the activities in the Mason House, organizers wanted to keep the exterior looking the same as it was back in the day. The Masons lived in the home from 1813-1869, so they wanted the flowers and plants in the garden to reflect the periods of the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Museum staff and volunteers planted the seeds necessary and the children watered the flowers with water from a working well.

Whether playing cricket outside or touring inside the Rufus Manor, there are a wide variety of activities every Thursday in July in Bethel at the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society.

For more information about the museums, including exhibits, programs and hours, go to: https://bethelhistorical.org/

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