This year, the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center of Townsend is expanding its programming to accommodate Boy and Girl Scouts throughout the region.
Sponsored by Foothills Kiwanis and the Cornerstone Foundation, these programs enable Cub Scouts, Brownies and Junior Girl Scouts to attain select badges or achievements. Scouts of other ages can also receive customized programming.
Museum director Bob Patterson said the programs are specifically geared toward meeting Scout requirements. “Determining what the Scouts want to accomplish is sometimes difficult, so we are trying to assist leaders in their decision-making,” he said.
Some of the Scout programs focus on Native American history and culture. Scouts can participate in programs such as Native American Adventure and One with Nature, reading folklore and playing games like Cherokee Marbles and Chunkey.
Other programs teach Scouts about East Tennessee settlers. Playing old-fashioned games, seeing a hearth cooking demonstration and making a quilt are but a few of the activities available.
Scout leaders can also opt for a self-guided tour called Heritage Quest, getting not only a look inside the Heritage Center’s galleries, but also a scavenger hunt.
“The history of this area is fascinating,” said Katherine Prince, curator of education at the museum and a past volunteer with Boy Scouts of America. “We want to pass on some of the skills and ingenuity of the mountain people to the next generation.”
The Scout programs are available year-round and at any time of day but must be scheduled four weeks in advance. Programs generally last from two to four hours and cost from $3 to $15 per Scout. Contact the Heritage Center at 865-448-0044 for more information or to schedule a visit.