By ASHLEY WOLSTONCROFT
Today’s teens are the leaders of tomorrow.
Henryetta eighth graders Emily Stockholm and Leia Howton are already receiving a taste of what it means to lead. The two students have been spending their afternoons at the Henryetta Territorial Museum, assisting acting docent Thomas Hudson in designing a history summer camp. During the camp, the pair will serve as student leaders.
“We are helping to edit the newsletters and websites, run the history camp Facebook page, clean up the museum and organize things there,” Howton said.
“I think people should be interested in history because the people of the past are who set up what we have today, so you can’t say you don’t care about it. It’s really cool when you think about it, that somebody actually built the things we see and they set it all up, like creating laws, structure and the school system.”
Howton said she has been interested in history for several years, but her favorite topic is studying about the formation of America.
“I like learning about the Revolutionary War and the events leading up to it, the people who were involved and the events after it like the Constitution,” she said. There’s a tea in the sea and it started a war, and I think that’s pretty cool.”
Stockholm, who only recently discovered her interest in history, also enjoys learning about past events.
“I started becoming interested in history this year when I joined the history club at school and started learning more,” Stockholm said.
The club contains about 12 members. Stockholm’s favorite topics to discuss at the club and in class are wars, specifically the Civil War, WWI and WWII. Other students are not as fascinated.
“People just aren’t very interested in history at school and they say it is their worse subject. They even sleep through it,” Stockholm said
But that is the least of the hardships the teens are facing.
“Smoking and vandalism are huge problems for people our age, especially during the summer,” she said. “People don’t really have anything to do. I usually don’t do anything over the summer, either. I’ll go on vacation for a week or so and then just sit around. That’s probably what most middle school and high school students do.”
Stockholm said she encourages other students to sign up for history camp and get involved in summer activities.
“I am excited about the camp and to be able to do something other than just sitting around. I think I’m most excited about the trips,” she said.
Campers will have the opportunity to visit several sites, including the OKC Bombing Memorial and State Capitol. There, the students will meet Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Henryetta Historical Society President Mike Doak will give the students a special tour around Henryetta to show off the city’s historical sites. Guest speakers will also attend, including Sharon Shoulders and the junior walking veteran Daniel Cox.
An ongoing friendly competition is also planned.
“Thomas is going to split Leia and me up into two teams to learn as much about history as we can through the museum and everywhere we go. We’re going to have a little competition to see who has learned the most at the end of the week, and run the museum,” Stockholm said.
The students will act as docents and provide tours of the museum.
“These young people are going to be in charge of everything,” Hudson said. “Henryetta History Camp 2017 is going to be historical, interesting, enlightening and most of all…fun! History is our heritage and our beginning of who we become. Henryetta has a rich history that should be captivated for the relevance of today. It is my honor to serve as camp director and do my best to inspire the youth to further promote the heritage of tomorrow’s generation.”
The camp, which will run June 26-July 1, will lead up to the finale of the Veteran’s March scheduled for that day.
Only 16 applicants will be selected to attend the summer fun, located in front of the Henryetta Territorial Museum. The camp fee is $40, which covers the cost of daily lunch, a museum membership and the field trips. Students will also receive a t. shirt sponsored by Harvey-Q’s. The age requirement is 13-18.
Camp applications can be found on page 4B, or online at henryettahistorycamp.com. They can be submitted to Hudson at the Henryetta Territorial Museum located at 410 W. Moore St. or the Henryetta Free-Lance located at 302 W. Main. For more information, visit the site or contact Hudson at 918-652-7112. Adults wishing to sponsor a camper can donate online.