Camp Tecumseh has two pioneer settlements (River and Lake) on site that are used to host many schools participating in the Pioneer Heritage program. This is a hands on program that brings the Indiana History taught at school, to life as they experience what it might have been like in the year 1811.
During their trip students attend a session about Log Cabin Building. This session highlights the different kinds of buildings that pioneers built, giving ample supervised opportunity for students to have a go at using the tools that were used in the building process back then. Tools such as the draw knife to peel the bark off the fallen logs and the two person saw to cut to the desired length, are both favorites for them.
Time is also set aside to discuss Native American housing. Almost all students know about the Tipi (which Camp T has had on show for many years now), but a much smaller percentage of students know much about the Wigwam and how it differs. We have tried to educate about this through pictures in the past, but … you can do that in the classroom right? So to really educate about it and bring it alive, we all decided that we needed to build one for the students, so that they can actually experience the difference.
This being said, Keith “Kilimanjaro” Kalish and Luke “Llama” Ulrich have donned the pioneer clothes and sharpened the pioneer tools once again to try and make this idea into a reality for thousands of students this coming year. The first wigwam for the River Village settlement has been finished, with the Lake Village slotted to be done before our first group arrives in March.
Not only will this be an educational addition, but it will also serve as a functional shelter for the students should the weather turn south on us.
Tipi’s were mostly used by the native Americans of the great plains. The ease of construction and transportation made it perfect for their more nomadic lifestyle.
Wigwams were used as a more permanent type of housing, which suited the Indiana woodland environment more.