HIstory Day Camp Held In Warroad
July 8, 2023
by Laurel Latham
The Warroad Heritage Center hosted a youth history day camp Monday, June 26, through Friday, June 30 from 9 a.m. until noon. The board members of the Warroad Heritage Center believe it's important to educate our youth on the history of their community. The history day camp was facilitated by Christy Olafson, who teaches 5th grade at Warroad Elementary with Nan Taylor, a retired teacher, as her volunteer assistant.
"We had twelve kids in our history day camp last week," reports Christy Olafson. "I sent home a letter this spring with my 5th grade students, to find out who would be interested in attending. Our history day camp met at the Warroad Public Library and each day focused on a different part of our local history and heritage.
"On Monday, day one, the students learned about the earlier European settlers in Warroad. Pam Bertilrud, who previously taught at Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, and now lives in Warroad, was our special guest. The kids learned about traditional Norwegian dress, a bit of the Norwegian language and a Norwegian song. Pam also showed them how to make traditional Norwegian Krumkake cookies.
"On Tuesday we focused on the rich Native American history that is so vital to our area," continued Christy. "Artist Shawna Grapentine, who currently works as the American Indian Education Home/School Liaison, was our special guest on day two. Shawna painted with the students and shared cultural beliefs and what it means to stay connected to Mother Earth in the indigenous culture. Shawna was born in Winnipeg, raised in the small Metis community of Manigotagan, and is a member of the Hollow Water First Nation treaty 5 territory in Manitoba. She is the owner and artist of Moon and Back Custom Arts."
History day camp student Swede Carlson,11, son of Nate and Meghan Carlson, enjoyed painting with Shawna Grapentine. "My favorite part of day camp was painting with Miss Shawna," explained Swede. "I'm not very good at art but her class made me feel I was good. We went step by step."
Adley Marvin, 9, and her brother Callen,11, children of Nick and Kendra Marvin, also attended history camp. "My favorite part of history camp was painting with Miss Shawna and making food that we don't normally make at home," said Adley. "We had sticky rice, egg rolls and Chinese sausage."
"It was such a wonderful opportunity for the kids in our area to attend history camp," said Kendra Marvin. "The classes taught me new information as well!"
"Joy Phonesavanh Sprester, who arrived in Warroad as a young child from a refugee camp in Thailand, shared her experiences transitioning to living in a new country on Wednesday," added Christy. "Joy shared special relics, taught students a Laotian dance and helped us cook amazing Asian food! The Laotian community has been growing in Warroad since the first immigrants arrived here in the early 1980s. Some came from different areas in the U.S., and others left refugee camps and were drawn north by work at an expanding Marvin Windows."