Can you believe it? The first three months of 2017 have almost passed us by. With a normal January, some days in February that felt like June, and a roaring March that has more than gotten even with us for enjoying February, our period of being closed is almost over. There are only a few more days until we reopen on April 1st. And, we will open with lot’s of new displays and exhibits.
We’ve done a lot over the winter. Gallery One upgrades are almost finished. You’ll see new exhibits and electronic and traditional displays. Within these changes are new exhibit information and displays on the Colonial Virginia Navy, the Revolutionary War in our area, the War of 1812, Civil War, and modern maritime Watermen activities.
Outside our galleries, we have nearly completed refurbishment of our Deadrise, “Miss Nancy.” And, we have replaced the picket fence across the entire front of our main building. In the next few months, we will be replacing the roof over our log canoe exhibit, replacing some of the Cypress siding on our buildings, and sprucing up our beloved steel model of the colonial collier “Betsy” that is positioned out front of the Museum.
We’ve also created two new summer camps, both for tweens and teens, that teach “All About Boats” and “Maritime Trades.” Because these two camps are designed for kids in grades 7-12, the camps are quite a bit more complex than our other camps. And, they bring in help from many of our area partners. So, campers will have real, hands-on experience with various types of boats and with learning skills such as rope making, sail making, blacksmithing, and more. Of course, our Pirate Camp will run weekly for the younger set (K-5). And, we’ll continue to offer our three camps for kids in grades 3-8: Archaeology, Boatbuilding; and Nature Explorer.
But, this latest round of bad weather has put us a little bit behind. We still have a lot more to do. And, we need your help! We are planning a Spring Workday for March 25, from 8 AM-5 PM. We need at least 50 volunteers to help us accomplish the long list of things we need to get done. Our tasks include painting our dry ship and our new picket fence, cleaning up our beach area and rebuilding the gabions in front of our beach cannon gun deck, upgrading our beach anti-erosion project, working on our blacksmithing forge, doing some gardening, folding brochures and other documents, and cleaning windows, doors, and floors in our buildings.
Please consider setting aside Saturday, March 25th to helping us tackle these last tasks of the winter season. But, even if you are not able to join us on Saturday, come see all the exciting things happening at our little museum along the River. This year promises to be another exciting year. Come join the fun.