This past July the Trumbull Historical Society hosted a new summer camp, "An American Girl's Historic Journey," which focused on different time periods in American history by examining the lives of four chracters in the American Girl collectioin. American Girl began in 1986, featuring three historic characters complete with books, period clothes and furniture. Twenty-six years later the dolls are stil as popular as ever and continue to educate and excite young girls about American history. Wendy Mawhinney, who has previously created programs for the Discovery Museum, David Humphreys House, and acted as the educational coordinator at the Trumbull Historical Society for the past few years, along with myself, decided to combine our passion for history and our diverse talents to create an unique and educational camp.
Each day our 16 campers arrived with their favorite doll, adopted a period name, and discussed what life was like for each doll, as well as for young girls living here in Connecticut in a particular time period. The first day we discussed Kaya and the differences between western and eastern Native American life. The girls created very elaborate corn husk dolls and enjoyed cornbread and maple syrup! On Tuesday our campers learned about Felicity and the Colonial era, and enjoyed making graces hoops and necklaces for their dolls. On Wednesday we studied Samantha and the Edwardian and Progressive era, examining female fashions, impressionism and making elegant fans. Our last time period was the Great Depression and Kit's lifestyle. The girls learned about the importance of helping others and recycling, and finished the day with an antique scavenger hunt!
On Friday our campers turned into hostesses. They learned how to set tables, prepare flower arrangements and decorated tea cakes for the elegant tea party we held for their mothers, siblings and grandmothers. They became the history teachers when they conducted a show and tell of artifacts for their guests. It was a wondeful week celebrating women's history and the American Girl Doll collection! Mrs. Mawhinney and myself would like to thank Mallory Huron, Elizabeth and Meredith Ramsey, and katherine Simonetti for their help with the camp!