Blast from the Past Summer Camp

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Red Beans and Rice: It Must be Monday in Louisiana!

Red Beans and Rice are made in Louisiana. Stories handed down from generation to generation refer to Monday as Wash Day and the day of the week that Red Beans and Rice were typically served. Have you ever wondered why? This is no coincidence. Wash Day tended to be an all-day chore, and red beans could easily be placed in a big pot and put on to simmer slowly for hours.

Let’s carry on the tradition with some good, clean fun followed by a little time in the kitchen to stir up this famous dish to feed the family served with a side of trivia.

Snowballs, Strawberries, and Sugar: Sweet Treats Made in Louisiana

It’s hot here in Louisiana. So, it’s no surprise that we are home to a sweet treat that keeps us cool in the summer time. Did you know that the snowball was invented in New Orleans? Let’s blast into the past to learn the history of how this icy, colorful concoction came to be.  Then, we will take a journey to a local snowball stand to see one being made. When we land back at home, we will make one on our own. Then, we will deconstruct the featured recipe and explore how farmers play a part in the availability of two key ingredients. Access the activities here.

Jean Laffite and the Loupe Garou: Legends Made Louisiana 

Storytelling was a pastime or form of entertainment before there was tv or movies. Sometimes, these stories were entirely fictional, and sometimes, they were base, at least a little bit, on real historical figures.  Can you think of any tall tales, myths, or legends you may have heard? Can you recall any that contained people from history?

Let’s take a look at two famous Louisiana characters (one real and one fictitious or completely made up) made legendary through the gift of oral tradition or storytelling with each story getting a little more exaggerated, elaborate, farfetched, funny, or even heroic.  Our first encounter will be with the infamous pirate, Jean Laffite. Once we learn about his life, we can make up our own tales of adventure while we wear home-made pirate hats and learn to navigate Louisiana waterways with map and compass in hand. Then, we will run into the likes of the swamp dwelling Loup Garou and get to know his friendlier side through the eyes of a young Cajun girl and a beloved Louisiana artist, George Rodrigue.

Handcrafted: Art Made in Louisiana

The history of the world can be traced through art, and it is no different right here in Louisiana. From the prehistoric artifacts found in local Indian Mounds to sculptures found in public spaces or tiny cast pieces worn as jewelry that record our culture in a unique way and things made from fabric for function or just for fun, art made in Louisiana has an impact in telling something about our people, places, and our past. Let’s learn about the skilled craftsmanship of a few past and present Louisiana artists and artisans.

Lagniappe: A Little Something Extra Made in Louisiana 

In French, the word lagniappe means a little something extra. It usually refers to a small unexpected gift or a bonus item. Today at camp, we are going to explore a few extra ways to make a little fun in Louisiana.