To me, the Age of X tour is my favorite because of the student’s participation and enthusiasm. Frequently, their hands are raised and waving just in anticipation of your question. Kids of this age group also answer your questions directly and openly; suffice to say they never pull any punches! It certainly keeps a docent on his toes at all times!
As I prepare for the first Age of X tour for the new school year on Thursday, I am reminded of an incident that occurred this past spring. While sharing the story of the grounding of the sailing ship Peter Iredale in 1906, the docent asked the kids to decide if it was caused by mechanical failure, weather, or human error. Without missing a beat, one little voice from the group loudly announced that the cause had to be because of a “lousy captain”. While attempting to suppress my laughter, the docent calmly explained that it would be more appropriate to refer to this as human error. Kids, you have to love them!!
Just in case you are wondering, the British government ruled during the court of inquiry that the grounding was not the result of human error. Score one for the captain and crew.
The bow of the Peter Iredale looking south
The bow and a portion of the mast seen while looking north
If you have never seen a ship up close, come to Fort Stevens State Park and explore the wreck of the Peter Iredale. You can even do it at low tide and not get your feet too wet!