Kid’s Programs

Museum staff expecting another big year for major summer program

Dino Campers participating in an egg race

Idabel, OK (May 29, 2018)—Staff at the Museum of the Red River are bracing for a record number of Dino Camp (ages 4 to 8) attendees, one of its annual summer programs. The predicted increase is based on several factors including the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. According to Christina Eastep, Head of Programs, “whenever a movie about dinosaur comes out, attendance goes up”. The camp has also become increasingly popular in the past few years. Last year’s camp attracted a record number of attendees—fifty-two on the first day. Eastep noted that this year, parents were signing their children up for Dino Camp as early as January.

In order to meet the predicted increase in demand, Museum will have two Dino Camps. The first will run from July 9 to July 11, 9 am to noon. The second camp will run on July 9 to July 11, from 1 pm to 4 pm. Both sessions cost $45 and are capped at twenty-five attendees each. This year’s Dino Camp will focus on the disappearance of dinosaurs. Planned activities include building a volcano, “excavating” fossils, creating dinosaur costumes, and making a dinosaur-themed diorama. Registration is available in the Museum Store, over the phone (580.286.3616) or online.

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Local museum offers engaging learning experiences for children via summer camps

Young girl holding a ceramic pig

Idabel, OK (May 17, 2018)—The Museum of the Red River recently announced the dates of its popular summer programs, Summer Explorers Camp and Dino Camp. Explorers Camp will run from June 18 to June 22, 9 am to 3 pm each day. Dino Camp will last from July 9 to July 11. Registration for Explorers Camp is now available. However, registration for Dino Camp is not. Enrollment will begin after its itinerary is finalized.

Summer Explorers (ages 8 to 12) allows children to immerse themselves in different cultures in a fun, safe, and engaging environment. This year, campers will learn about the rich and varied cultural traditions of the American Southwest. Cost is $100; Attendees must bring a sack lunch each day. Parents can register by visiting or by calling (580) 286 – 3616.

Planned activities for Explorer’s Camp include creating sandstone carvings, Hopi Kachina figures, ceramics, beadworks, and much more. Campers will get a chance to eat authentic cuisine from the area and partake in traditional games. The camp will also include a performance by internationally-recognized flamenco musician Ronald Radford. The former Fulbright Scholar and U.S. State Department Musical Ambassador will complement his concert with “illuminating narration which recreates the very essence of this ancient folklore, Flamenco.” More information about Radford can be found online at Radford’s concert is sponsored by the Idabel Regional Arts Council and supported in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts.


The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The agency’s mission is to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma’s thriving arts industry. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides more than 400 grants to nearly 225 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state’s arts and cultural industry and manages works of art in the Oklahoma Public Art Collection and the public spaces of the state Capitol. Additional information is available at

“Miniature totem pole” workshop to be held at local museum

By Owen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Idabel, OK (May 7, 2018)—In conjunction with its Arts of the Pacific Northwest Coast exhibit, the Museum of the Red River will have a “miniature totem pole” workshop on May 26. Families may drop in and drop out any time between 10 am and 3 pm. Participants will learn about the history of totem poles and create their own using cardboard tubes, paint, paper and other household items. The workshop is free and is led by Museum educator Christina Eastep.

Totem poles were made by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and Canada. They were used for a variety of purposes. Some served as memorials for an event or deceased person.  Others were placed along the edge of a stream or village to welcome strangers to the community. Some were even used to ridicule people who failed to pay their debts or did something wrong! These totem poles were placed in prominent locations and only removed after the debt was paid or the wrong corrected. Whatever their function was, each totem pole followed a standardized, intricate pattern that made it familiar to most, if not all, groups in the area. Moreover, each totem poles was a sign of a person’s wealth—hiring an artist to construct a massive wood carving was an expensive endeavor that only a few could afford!

[Pictured: Totem poles and houses at ‘Ksan, near Hazelton, British Columbia. By Owen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,]


2018 Kite Festival scheduled for April 14

Kite Fest attendees creating handmade kites

Idabel, OK (March 23, 2018)—This year’s Mary H. Herron Memorial Kite Festival (Kite Fest) is scheduled for April 14, from 10 am to 3 pm. The festival will be held at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, located at 1000 NW Haskell Pl. in Idabel. The event is free and open to the public. The festival will start with a kite-building workshop at 10:00 am, led by Christina Eastep, an educator at the Museum of the Red River. Participants can fly their kites after lunch, from 1:00 pm to 3:00. The afternoon session may be canceled in the event of rain.

Kite Fest was founded by Mary H. Herron, a former Museum Director, Curator and avid kite-flyer. The festival is one of the Museum’s most popular events, with last year’s festival attracting 80 amateur kite-makers. Eastep attributes part of its success to the Idabel Minority Action Committee (IMAC), which cosponsors the event. She stated, “their help allows me to focus on teaching the kids.” She went on to say that “the kids love it” and it is one of her “favorite events.”

The history of kites stretches back to at least 400 BC in China. Kites have been used by military leaders, scientists, fishermen and the occasional estranged lover for a variety of purposes. George Pocock, a 19th century inventor, even designed a mode of transportation involving several large kites and a carriage. Although the usefulness of kites has diminished since the invention of the airplane, kites are still used around the world for a variety of scientific and artistic purposes. They also remain a popular recreational activity—especially in Asian and South American countries.


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