Scouting, Volume 78, Number 3, March-April 1990 Page: 5
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Explorers learn their manners,
crafts, dances, songs, and games
from seminars taught by Joy Con-
well and historic interpretation spe-
cialists. They learn to make their
clothing, often with sewing help from
mothers and grandmothers.
They leave their watches and all
but the most subtle make-up at
home. The rule is, stay in character
and don't mention anything from the
20th Century. A visitor once asked
Katie Struble, "Wouldn't you rather
be home watching TV?" Her an-
swer: "What's TV?"
Many Explorers adopt old fash-
ioned names. Upstairs at Kossuth
Inn, Karla greets visitors as Klara
White. Travelers may have a "clean
bed" for 25 cents, she explains, or a
pallet on the floor, separated from the
sleeping quarters of the innkeeper's
family by a curtain drawn down the
middle of the room.
The privacy of a wooden partition
is unthinkable. "The taxes are im-
mensely high!" Karla exclaims. "If
we were to have a second room, we
would be charged almost double
what we pay now!"
Visitors ask questions, and Karla
tailors her talks to each audience.
She tells teen-age girls, for instance,
how she heats her curling iron in the
chimney of a kerosene lamp. She
confides, "Sometimes you singe your
hair if it's too hot."
Some roles require extensive re-
search. Emily leads a women's tem-
perance meeting, dressed in black
bloomers, as the legendary Amelia
Bloomer, traveling around "stirring
up trouble and support." She im-
. « •
A neighborhood quilting bee
provides a social gathering
for pioneer women.
Ben Riepe, left, and Lance
Hampton take time off from
chores to play stick pulling.
plores her audience to "get your
husbands away from the demon al-
cohol" in a speech interrupted by an
attempt on her life.
David Heaton, who has researched
his family's Scottish ancestry ap-
pears as the kilt-clad Rev. Angus
Crawford, an immigrant staying at
the inn. Visitors are drawn to the
haunting music of the bagpipe he
plays, which sounds best, he says,
"from the top of a hill or in a mist."
Authenticity is essential, so the
post has two special committees. The
Artifact Acquisition Committee goes
to auctions and learns how to iden-
tify and bid on items to use in the vil-
The Interpretive Committee re-
searches new themes and events,
often using a collection of books,
journals, and letters given to the post
by families and friends.
The Explorers keep busy year
round. As a money making project,
they organize a December tour of
historic Mt. Pleasant homes, includ-
ing the village. In costume, they be-
come hosts, carolers, and musi-
cians. They also travel to other
historic sites and museums, giving
programs such as their performance
of Civil War music at the opening of
the "A. Lincoln" exhibit in Rock-
Honors keep coming to Post 1846,
which received second place at the
1988 National Exploring Confer-
ence. It's the only youth group
invited each year to the National His-
toric Interpreter's Seminar. Winner
of the Iowa Governor's Youth Lead-
ership Award, they are also invited
to the Governor's Youth Conference
■ vjv -A
Ken Gaulke puts his broad
axe to work splitting wood to
fuel cook stoves and fireplaces.
When 13 students from Mt. Pleas-
ant schools qualified for National
History Day with their projects, all
were affiliated with the post, and four
won awards. "I think our Exploring
experience gave us an edge at the
state and national contests," says
The teens work hard, sometimes
putting in 14-hour stints at the
village. "Having worked on other
historic sites," says Post Advisor
Conwell, "I'd take these kids any day.
Their attitude is meticulous and
Time travelers to another era, the
Post 1846 Explorers ply their pi-
oneer spirit from daybreak until eve-
ning. And when night falls across the
village green, light from lanterns and
candles illuminate its buildings, a
reminder of life on the prairie more
than a century ago. H
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 78, Number 3, March-April 1990, periodical, March 1990; Irving, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth353651/m1/35/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.