If you have (or are) a kid between the ages of 9 and 12, run, don’t walk, to the Black Hills of South Dakota to sign up for a week-long archaeology summer camp.
During the week-long camp, kids will get the chance to participate in a real archaeological dig in Deadwood led by real, live, honest-to-goodness archaeologists. Many of Deadwood’s archaeological digs in recent years have been in the old Chinatown district, where the Fee Lee Wong family (pictured above) lived and worked. There hasn’t been any official word yet, but the children in the summer camp may get to learn in this area.
The curriculum includes a crash-course in the archaeological process, as well as hikes from the excavation site to related locations, a visit the State Archaeological Research Center in Rapid City and daily lessons from professionals ranging from general historic preservation to mapping techniques and – perhaps most thrilling of all to a third-grader – how to use a compass!
“But, liv,” I can hear you ask, “how could I afford to send my kids to such an incredible summer camp?” My reply? A quick excavation between the cushions of your couch should do the trick because the total cost for the whole week is $25.
Even if you don’t live in the area, you should seriously consider taking the week of June 23rd for vacation, and hightail it to Deadwood like it’s the Gold Rush all over again. An opportunity like this is just too good to miss, and there are only 20 spots in the camp so the clock is ticking.