By Chris Crofoot, TTB Starry Trail
Those spending time at our beloved Camp Geiger this past summer had the opportunity to visit an area that is important to our past, present, and future. The new Jumping Bear Museum, located on the north side of the Trading Post, was dedicated on June 1, 2013 at the annual Tribal Feast, and opened its doors to those in attendance that day to view the newly displayed items inside. Named in honor of the late Tim Ernst, MM Jumping Bear, the museum offers its visitors a glimpse into some of the history of our camp as well as our Tribe.
In addition to the historical items on display, which include various photos, artifacts, and costume pieces, the Jumping Bear Museum also offers technological resources for Scouts. Throughout the summer you could find young men using the museum’s iPads to work on various merit badges, including Citizenship in the Nation and Personal Management. Alex Zanatta, the museum curator had the following to say about the museum. “On average, we had approximately 200 kids per week use the iPads to complete requirements for their badges. Citizenship in the Nation would come in for the first 10 minutes and watch the news on the CNN and FOX news applications while scouts in Personal Management and First Class Trail would come in and watch a video for their requirements on the big-screen television. As for visitor’s night on Wednesday, we were open for an hour and a half and we were packed during that time. Kids would bring their parents in to check it out and we had a Kids’ Corner operating where young children could make necklaces out of beads.” When asked about the popularity of the museum, Zanatta stated, “One example was the traffic that we had, where people would want to come in and use the iPads to learn about history.”
The new Jumping Bear Museum proved to be a welcome addition to Camp Geiger this summer. While the results from this year were phenomenal, renovations are already planned for next year. The exhibits will be expanding and new ones will arrive to allow for more history to be displayed. This new area of Camp had great success, and many more years of it are sure to follow.