COLLEGE STATION, TX — Over the weekend, hundreds of area children had the chance to learn about American military history, up close and personal.
Saturday and Sunday, thousands of people flocked to the Museum of the American G.I. in south College Station for its annual Living History Weekend. But before the grownups took their turn riding in World War II-era tanks and watching weapons demonstrations, recreated military encampments came to life, just for kids.
"We have all kinds of living historians out at various camps, and we have home-school and private school kids coming out to visit," said Leisha Mullins, the museum's director. "...We have three different camps..the kids are rotating between the camps, and each camp has a different station where they get to learn something specific about that camp.”
Approximately 270 children, along with parents and school supervisors, had interactive lessons with living history re-enactors, who were playing the roles of soldiers from different American-involved wars.
"So in the World War I [camp], they are doing the doughnut dollies, going through a trench tour, and they actually threw in a Civil War field hospital,” Mullins said.
Kids learned not only about tools for fighting, but also how soldiers lived and cared for themselves across different decades.
"The living historians have been fantastic," said Camden Dore, a field trip chaperon from Bedias. "We learned about how people communicated during the war, from the most rudimentary to the very sophisticated radios.”
Camden Dore helped chaperon his daughter Karma, a fifth-grader from the Alpha-Omega Academy in Huntsville, as she attended the event with her classmates. Friday was the Dore family's first time experiencing living history at the museum, and Karma said she enjoyed this visual and interactive manner of learning about history.
"I like seeing [historic] things a lot more, because it’s just easier to know what they looked like, and to picture what was happening," Karma said.
The military vehicles on scene belong to the museum, and many are on display throughout the year. The Museum of the American G.I. is located on Highway 6 near Santa’s Wonderland. To learn more about Living History Weekend and other events, visit here!