As a loyal watcher of “The Crown”, I can just imagine Queen Lilibet’s reaction to a group of Canadian Boy Scouts using the walls of a fort as kindling in their celebratory bonfire to mark the occasion of her coronation! I like to think she and her dear Philip would have shared a smile at the news of a group of enthusiastic young men pillaging a pile of old stored wood that had once stood on the site of today’s provincial capital buildings to mark the occasion in an unforgettable manner.
|Learning about York Boats and the North Saskatchewan River|
On a recent homeschool day, Life of a Voyageur, EJ learned about the early settlement of western Canada and, more specifically, our province. It was snowy and brisk outside but that didn’t stop our enthusiastic guide leader. Charles (dressed in his authentic Hudson’s Bay coat), led the group around the old Hudson’s Bay fort and explained what life would have been like for the French fur traders who helped settle the area. He was terrific with the kids, trudging through the snow and sharing stories of York Boats and frozen rivers. Much more fun than mama reading from signs and guide books.
|Outside the great hall|
Next was a walk to the fort itself where the kids were introduced to the great hall where enlisted single men would have lived while posted at the fort. It now serves as a lunchroom and gathering area for visitors, somewhere to warm up on a January day like today.
|Is your rabbit pelt worth a beaver?|
The kids loved hearing the “inside scoop” and begged Charles to tell more stories as he began to round them up to move onto the fur trading room and trading post area. Here the children (and parents) learned about the grading of various pelts and how a beaver pelt was held as the standard due to its popularity and value in trade with England and France for making beaver skin hats (think Abraham Lincoln, black, stovepipe, you get the idea.)
|Teaching the kids how to “bake” bannock over an open fire|
It was finally time for the little group to break up and head home (or in our case to dinner and the hotel) but not before the kids made sure they would be seeing each other at a future homeschool day. Although they don’t interact on a daily basis, they do seem to make connections, one of the great benefits of attending these events.