Summer Museum Camp for Kids

For the last four years, the New London County Historical Society has partnered with The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of New London County, CT to host a fun and exciting summer program for kids at the Shaw Mansion.

This year forty students from across New London County will come to the historic Shaw Mansion and learn about A Child’s Life in the 18th Century through Archeology. Using our garden students will participate in an active archeological dig to uncover historical artifacts. Additionally, guest lecturers will discuss the history of Southeastern Connecticut and what it was like to be a child in the 18th century.  Our program demonstrates the diversity of individuals who have contributed to the development of Connecticut, and the opportunity provided by a career in the maritime community.

Our curriculum is designed to have students compare and contrast their lives to that of 18th-century children through leisure, education, home, and work activities. In doing so, they examine a diverse demographic in regard to the historiography by connecting them with people of similar socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. We encourage our students to interact with these artifacts to immerse themselves in the subject, learn with more senses, and gain a better understanding of history. From these interactions, children learn how to curate material culture in the same way historians do in their profession.

Each year we strive to make our program multidisciplinary allowing students to develop a more holistic understanding of the world and history. Traditionally, we meet this goal by integrating activities in fields other than history and through guest speakers. Each Monday, the program invites a professional speaker, from a diverse demographic, to discuss practices and careers available to everyone in various fields, especially public history. We will discuss contributions made by women, minorities and Connecticut residents to the history of Southeastern Connecticut.

We are delighted to integrate a new archeology component into the program. Students participate in an archaeological dig in the Shaw Mansion Garden. Each pit is roped off and monitored to ensure safety. All of our students receive their own tools for excavation. Using their artifact handling skills learned in previous classes, students identify objects in their journals and curate the objects they find with educator assistance. After each journal entry is made, our educators will discuss their findings and encourage the students to form a hypothesis about the object’s historical context. There are computer and literary resources for the students to investigate their findings further and learn from their observations with the available scholarship on websites and other sources.

During the last week of camp, to present their scholarship, students are responsible for curating and installing an exhibit with discovered artifacts and artifacts from our collection. They are responsible for the entire design from artifact selection, to label composition, to installation. At the completion of the summer program, we invite the parents of our students and the community to an opening where the children guide visitors through their exhibit, discuss what they learned, and give a tour of the Shaw Mansion.

FREE Summer Program.

There are 10 spots available for kids ages 10 -14 in our summer program which have been paid for by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.  If you are interested please download the application and email to or bring it to 11 Blinman Street New London. Our program runs Monday through Friday from 1 PM to 4 PM beginning July 6th. Email if you have any questions.

NLCHS Summer Program Application 2022

Thank You to our Gracious Supporters

Frank Loomis Palmer Foundation
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock

Patricia Faron
Bob and Judy Manuel
Rebekah Miller
Emily Casey
Kathleen Edmonds
Joseph and Noreen Selinger
Anne Selinger
Barbara Rubin
Edward and Patricia Faron
Bob and Judy Manuel
Kathleen Bowles

Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut

Dime Bank

Sponsor a Student with a Campership

Support the NLCHS and Salvation Army in future Museum Camps by donating towards a student’s camp tuition. Your $50 Campership covers all expenses for one student to attend one week museum camp. If you wish to sponsor a child in our program for a week, please click the button below.