July 6, 2023
By Meghan Pedneault
Day Camps at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) provide children with a week of fun, learning, personal engagement with our volunteers, and making new connections between people and Mennonite history. When kids come to our day camps, they are immersed in the Mennonite culture, history, and activities that are relevant to their interests.
At MHV we are fortunate to have an outdoor village with historic buildings that can be incorporated into our activities. Some of the campers’ favorite activities have included making dinner bells in the blacksmith shop with our blacksmiths, learning how to do embroidery with our volunteers in the summer kitchen, and learning how to take care of animals with our grounds team in the barn. We have activities for every camper and every interest.
Not only do the campers learn new skills, they also learn about Mennonite history. Aside from Mennonite-based activities, we provide fun activities that get our campers physically active and let them explore their creativity. We play lots of classic games like what time is It Mr. Wolf, and Red Light, Green Light. We also provide a cooling experience on the hottest of summer days with water games. Last year, we created a museum-wide Amazing Race which was a huge highlight for our staff and campers. Campers went from station to station in pairs making things, and memorizing things before they raced to the pit stop.
One major highlight of our day camps is that the campers get the chance to engage with our volunteers who are passionate about MHV, the next generation, and continuing the Mennonite history and story. Our campers get to learn from people who have experienced Mennonite culture and are knowledgeable in heritage skills. No matter what station they are at, our campers learn from the best in the field.
Day campers also make friendships with other campers that have lasted over the years. We have campers coming back that want to be in groups with their friends from previous years and campers that are excited to make new friends. By the end of the week, every camper has either made a new friend or further developed and deepened the connections they have previously made. No matter age or interest, we have something for everyone at MHV’s Pioneer Day Camps.
MHV’s grounds and Livery Barn Restaurant are open seven days a week! The restaurant is open from 11 am to 4 pm, and the grounds are open from 9 am to 5 pm, except Thursdays from 9 am to 8 pm, and Sundays from 11:30 am to 5 pm, including our famous Sunday buffet to 2 pm.
Russländer Centennial, July 16, 10am to 4pm. This signature event commemorates the Russian Mennonites that arrived in Canada in the 1920s. The worship service begins at 10 am and will be a time to remember this period in Mennonite history and to thank God for His faithfulness to our forebears and in our own lives. The worship service will incorporate congregational singing, in both English and German. After the service, volunteer interpreters will be available inside select heritage buildings, including the Lichtenau Church, which was the first church built by “Russländer” Mennonites in Manitoba. In the afternoon, guests can also take in the award-winning exhibit “The Russländer” in the Gerhard Ens Gallery. Russländer-themed tours of the outdoor village will also be available for sign-up in the afternoon. At 3 pm, the Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre Company will be presenting original plays based on the Russländer theme. This event is hosted by the Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre and will take place in the Auditorium.
Heritage Classic Car Show, July 22, 9 am to 4 pm. The Heritage Classic Car Show is a showstopping event that you do not want to miss! View stunning classic cars lined up and down our village’s main street, goldie oldies music on our new village sound system, and activities for all ages.
MHV’s Summer Day Camp (several weeks – see www.mhv.ca) Registration is still open for some of the weeks and age groups. Let us know if you have a child who would enjoy a week learning a variety of heritage skills, history and having fun in MHV’s outdoor village.