Following the discontinuation of a program that brought local third-graders to the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum, organization volunteers are ramping up efforts to boost visits this summer.
In recent years, third-grade classes in the Pickerington Local School District learned about their community's history and heritage through field trips to the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum.
That program was canceled during the 2012-13 school year because the district didn't have enough time to respond to new state medical training requirements for teachers and staff related to off-campus visits.
In response, the historical society has begun a push to encourage parents to bring their children to the historical society museum this summer.
"That particular age group is very interested and they're very excited about the stuff they come in and see," said Peggy Portier, historical society historian. "There are a lot of things we have that they've never seen.
"We're just trying to get kids to come in," Portier said. "It's something interesting for them to do."
The historical society museum, 15 E. Columbus St., is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and admission is always free.
Portier said to help generate excitement about the museum and encourage more children and parents to attend, the historical society is staging three scavenger hunts this year.
The first began April 6 and will extend through July 5.
Those who take part try to solve questions such as "How many times was the Pickerington Bank robbed?" or "What Pickerington native pitched the first nine-inning no-hitter in the history of American League baseball?" by touring the museum.
Youth who take part in the scavenger hunts receive a prize and are entered into a drawing for a $25 savings bond provided by Fairfield Federal. Parents also will be entered into a drawing for one of the historical society's woven throws.
In addition to providing a fun way for kids to learn about the history of their community, Portier said, the scavenger hunts are a way for the historical society to show off new exhibits, including interactive ones.
"They'll find different things each time," Portier said. "We have new exhibits and there are more things they can actually touch."
Additional information about the historical society and its museum are available online at www.pickeringtonhistoricalsociety.com.