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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Boxcar Museum

My mother in law recently read "The Boxcar Children" to my kids. It is an adorable series about four orphaned children and their innocent adventures. My kids were especially captivated by the second book in the series "Surprise Island," because the setting is so familiar.

Our camp is located a short canoe ride from Blueberry Island, now nicknamed Boxcar Children Island. The kids imaginations simply flew with this story. They loved poking their heads into a small abandoned shack, collecting their own food (berries and mushrooms) like the children in the story, and searching for treasures to add to their "Museum."

It is this museum that most amazed me. What a great idea! Giving kids a place to keep all of their miscellaneous items that they pick up every day is simply brilliant! Children love to collect things, and usually as adults, we have a hard time seeing the value in their collections. (Just ask my husband - he still gets teased about his childhood "Stump Collection" - inspired by a native american weapon that he once saw that was made from a gnarled tree limb) Usually on my kitchen countertop there is a random assembly of gravel, withered daisies, and interesting bug casings - which I can't wait to whisk back outdoors as soon as the kids go to bed.

"Nina" was smart enough to realize the value of these treasures, and allowed the kids to place their very special items on a rarely used rolling cart on the screen porch.

If you click on the picture you will be able to see:
  • a bone gnawed on by mice
  • a piece of driftwood
  • a large feather (we believe it may be from the bald eagle we have seen a few times on the island) 
  • dried flowers
  • a swallow's nest
  • birch bark
  • snail shells
  • a pine-cone
  • muscle shells
Isn't it amazing where a book can take you?


Doris said...

I love the treasures. However, I must say I am not so sure about "the bone gnawled on by mice".

Linda J. said...

I remember reading "The Boxcar Children" when I was a kid. I wonder if this is a new series. I loved the stories and the adventures the kids had. I thought living in a boxcar would be so cool. How exciting for your kids to have their own "Surprise Island."