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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Church History Museum

We were in Salt Lake last week, and I was able to take the boys to the Church History Museum to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit and the exhibit about Scouting and the Priesthood. If you get a chance to check out these exhibits, I highly recommend it. They are very well done. (Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me that morning, but I did snap a few pictures with my phone.)

My favorite thing about the exhibits is that they have pamphlets for both Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts to help them earn awards using the two exhibits. The Cub Scout booklet is specifically aimed at the Rockwell exhibit. After looking at the exhibit, discussing it (using questions from the booklet) with a parent or leader, and creating a composition according to instructions, a Cub can earn both the Art Belt Loop and a special patch that can be purchased at Great Salt Lake Council service centers. For Boy Scouts, there are two booklets: Scouting Heritage and Art, which guide a Scout in activities to help him earn the respective merit badges (some activities can be done at the museum, and some will need to be done at home). You can find these materials upstairs with the exhibits or ask one of the very helpful museum workers about them.

The exhibit about Scouting and the Priesthood is especially impressive the way it was put together. It is interactive, with a place children (or adults) can write or draw about a good turn they have done and pin it to a board, as well as design a neckerchief. There is a display about the Unknown Scout and Boyce with a little audio thing (this and the bugle were my youngest's favorites). There are interactive knot-tying and flag signaling stations, and there are several other things to look at and do to experience the history of Scouting in the Church.

(Warning: There is also an exhibit right now to go with the Primary's Book of Mormon celebration that is on par with any children's museum we have been to, and it comes right after the Scouting and the Priesthood exhibit. If you are visiting the museum with younger children and you do not want to spend all day there, make sure to steer them toward the Rockwell exhibit before they see the Book of Mormon area. Otherwise you might have difficulty extracting them. If you brought a second adult with you - which I did not - sucker him/her into taking the kids through the Book of Mormon area while you enjoy the Rockwell exhibit in peace.)

The Norman Rockwell exhibit includes paintings Rockwell did about Scouting and Boys Life covers by Rockwell. There are discriptions and bits of history around the room as well. There are even a couple of interactive screens where you can draw or look at Rockwells (playing with these screens was my middle son's favorite part). Of course, being in a room with actual Rockwell paintings was amazing enough and the focus of the display; fancy interactive activities were not so important here.

I consider both exhibits to be those "once in a lifetime" experiences. The Rockwell exhibit runs through the end of this year. The Scouting and the Priesthood exhibit will be up until October of next year.


Heather said...

What is the special patch available at the council office called?

Evenspor said...

The patch says on it, "100 Years of Scouting in the LDS Church." If it has any other name, I don't know of it. If you take in the filled-in paper from the museum and hand it in at the camp desk, they will know what it is. They will not sell you the patch without the paperwork, and they will keep the paper.

Hope that helps.