The Atlanta Preservation Center hosted elementary-aged campers and students from the City of Refuge in collaboration with a number of community and preservation partners each summer for a week of fun.

Our camp is based out of the L.P. Grant Mansion (APC headquarters), where we learn about the importance of historic preservation at the oldest house in the city of Atlanta (c.1856). The children are introduced to historic preservation through hands-on learning and by visiting historic spaces and hearing stories of the past. Our goal is to ignite a passion for history and culture in these children and a lifelong love and respect for saving places that matter.

This Summer Camp took place the week of June 26 to 30. We talked about life in the 1850s, and the children got to make and play with toys that were popular at that time Buzz Saws, thaumatropes, spinning tops, and wind-up toys.

We visited the Wrens Nest, Atlanta’s oldest house museum celebrating 100 years in 2023. After listening to Brer Rabbit stories with a wonderful storyteller, we toured the house. The Wrens Nest, who participated in the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, gave each child a beautiful book.

David Mitchell is the executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center.

The Audubon Society met up with us at Milledge Fountain in Grant Park for early morning bird watching. Each child got to take their binoculars, and we spotted some amazing birds, including blue jays, robins, cardinals, and a woodpecker. We followed our lessons by making and painting beautiful birdhouses.

Chris and Nicole Escobar, owners of the Plaza and Tara Theaters, opened the doors of the Plaza Theater for us. We got a behind-the-scenes tour and learned a lot about how theaters have changed since the Plaza opened in 1939.

Each afternoon was spent exploring The Zoo, Atlanta’s oldest cultural space. Learning how to preserve the environment and home of our animal friends. We talked about Recycling and reducing consumption, and being aware of our carbon footprint. Some highlights of the week were getting to have animal encounters with a tortoise and a chinchilla. Thank you to Zoo Atlanta for partnering with us for another wonderful camp experience.

This camp is free to these children through the kindness of our wonderful sponsors and APC members. Thank you so much for contributing to this unforgettable experience for these amazing children.

Photos by David Mitchell

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