Sunday, April 11, 2010

Native American Day at Wake Forest University

This weekend the Department of Anthropology at Wake Forest University sponsored their third annual Native American Day for all Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers in the Old Hickory Council.

This was a great opportunity to participate in plenty of hands-on activities including atlatl throwing, blowgun shooting, flint knapping, wigwam building and Native American stickball which is a game that's over 400 years old called toli.

There were also several Native American craft and food vendors and Indian dancing on the grounds. Best of all, Scouts had the opportunity to work on their merit badge requirements for Archaeology, American Cultures, Indian Lore, and  Pioneering. Opportunities like this don't come very often so many thanks go out to the Wake Forest Department of Anthropology!

As seen in the pictures above and to the right, one of my favorite hands-on activities was found at the flint knapping station. Here you had the opportunity to get a feel for how Native Americans made the sharp stone tips used on arrows for hunting and for war. Excellent Wake Forest staff provided detailed instruction while simultaneously sharing some wonderful stories of Indian lore thus making the whole experience come to life in a very real way.
 Other hands-on activities included the opportunity for Scouts to use an atlatl thrower and a blowgun. As seen in the foreground of the picture to the left, a couple of Scouts are preparing to blow their darts in a bamboo cane blowgun at a deer target about 25 feet away. The next picture below shows the Scouts in action as the darts hurtle toward their targets.

In the background of the picture to the left can be seen Scouts receiving instruction as they prepare to sling spears toward a target using the Native American atlatl thrower.
We greatly appreciate the staff at the Wake Forest Department of Anthropology for sponsoring this great opportunity for area Scouts. Way too many kids today are stuck behind computer games and TV's or on the streets in trouble and this is the kind of hands-on activities that really make a difference in a child's life.

1 comment:

  1. What fun! I agree that way too many kids today are stuck on video games and television. Parents should encourage their children to become involved with groups like the girl and boy scouts. My mom was my scout leader when I was a kid, and it was truly an amazing experience. I learned more in scouts than I did in school, truthfully (and I say that even though I'm a teacher now!). The Wake Forest Dept. of Anthropology is awesome for doing this for the scouts!