Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fundraiser: Canoe and Boat Rentals at Fields Pond

My wife Jean recently read the Cartwright article about the Curran Homestead in the Fall, 2008 issue of Memories of Maine and thought that the original Curran's practice of renting canoes to tourists to use on Fields Pond was a great idea. Why doesn't the CH consider seeking donations of kayaks and canoes from Old Town Canoes or from LLBean, as well as lifejackets to realize such a moneymaker. I for one would love to forgo buying my own canoe, as I plan to do now that my son Gabe is interested and old enough, and simply rent from CH and walk the thing down to the pond on a regular basis. Having some canoes to rent or use in conjunction with events would be an idea worth considering. Adults would be responsible for the safety of the craft's occupants while on the pond, so there aren't any insurance issues. Although it might be prudent to have the canoes covered under the homeowner's insurance in case they are stolen. Prohibiting theft from renters might be insured by having them give a deposit or surrender their license. Fishing poles to rent or simply to use would also be a good idea. I would like to take my pre-schoolers during a storytime, with their parents, to the pond for a fishing experience. Gabe and I have poles, but I am sure that some kids and parents don't. They make it easy to get licenses these days with availability at the local convenience store 24/7. Anybody think this is worth considering? We could have particular dates when such things are available for rental to insure that someone would be at the CH to handle such transactions. I would surely love to rent a canoe if we had one, and I volunteer to collect money from renters. I wouldn't be adverse to teaching canoeing merit badge to Boy Scouts either, as I did that for several summers some 30 years ago at a BSA camp up in New York's Catskill Mountains. Making overtures to the local BSA troops is a good idea, especially after all the work they did on the farm already.

Storytime and Playgroup at the Curran Homestead

As you may know I am starting a storytime at the farm on Tuesdays 130-230 PM and Fridays 1000-1100 AM. It will include a reading, craft activity, and snack. The trial run is the week of November 17th. I have only advertised in the Eddington School to limit the kids. I need to see how all this comes off.
I envision having playgroups at the CH as well. That can happen once we have a modern restroom on premises. This will allow parents to bring their kids to the site and play in both the living room and dining room. We would need a gate to close off the dining room to the kitchen; I'm not sure whether a door currently exists now. Having parents and their children using the farm on a weekly basis is key to our sustainability. We need more volunteers and people interested in taking on the tasks of a vibrant working living history museum and farm. Creating such a community resource as storytimes and playgroups is key to getting these people interested. Making an inexpensive place to bring your kids for entertainment and education is always appreciated!
What we need are some donations of farm toys. My son is going to share his barn, tractors, farm animals and the like this week for kids to play with during storytime. This is only a temporary situation, and he invites the opportunity for the time being, according to him. But new or old toys would be appreciated for the future, and wooden ones would be preferable rather than plastic ones.
I might solicit some from the parents themselves, if you all think that would be appropriate. A toy box with a lid could hold all these, and be moved out of the room when necessary for other functions.