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Experience life with the LeDuc family during youth summer camp

Registration is now open for two summer camps for youth ages 10-14 at the LeDuc Historic Estate, 1629 Vermillion St., Hastings.  Register through Hastings Community Education @www. or call 651-480-7670. 

"Experience Life with the LeDuc Family I" will take place June 13-17, 8 a.m. to 12 noon each day.  Students will experience life as it was lived by the LeDuc children who grew up in a marvelous house in Hastings during the 1860s.  They will immerse themselves in the 19th century as they dress in period costumes, participate in activities of daily life, make projects to take home, and have fun with old-fashioned games.  Hands-on activities include:

*Learning about the LeDuc house and the family

* Playing outdoor sports and games like croquet and fencing

* Making candle lanterns and dipping candles

* Exploring Family Trees

* Learning about the Civil War

* Journaling and writing letters

* Taking a walking tour of the Vermillion Falls

"Experience Life with the LeDuc Family II" will take place Aug. 2-4, 8 a.m. to noon each day.  This camp is open to children who have attended "Life with the LeDuc Family I" or those who have not experienced the first camp.  This is a new opportunity to discover what life was like in the 19th century for the LeDuc family.  Once again, attendees will wear period costumes.  Students will spend a morning with Seth Eastman (portrayed by David Geister,) a man who served with the U.S. Army, experienced the Wild West, and painted scenes of real, early native American life in Minnesota.  They will spend time outdoors with Eastman where they will be encouraged to combine paint and fresh air in their efforts to create their own color masterpieces.  Children will make and explore games and toys enjoyed by children of the 19th century.  Hands-on activities include;

* Sketching and painting with Eastman

* Making and mastering a pair of stilts

* Building and flying a kite

* Participating in croquet and marble tournaments 

Mayor Paul Hicks says of the summer camps, "The LeDuc summer camps are a great way for our kids to learn history 'hands on.' To read about history is fun, but to live it is an experience. This is the unique gift the LeDuc summer camps bring to our youth. The camps encourage the kids to dress, play and live everyday life in the 1860s. As we observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, what a terrific opportunity this is for our kids to explore a way of life during a time that truly changed America. My daughter enjoyed all the activities of the LeDuc camp. She appreciated learning and understanding the challenges and differences of a world unlike our own. When your child comes home and says learning history was 'fun,' then you know the value of this experience."

 The summer camps are supported by Friends of LeDuc of Historic Hastings, the LeDuc Historic Estate, Dakota County Historical Society and other generous individuals.  Register through Hasting Community Education at or call 651-480-7670.  If there are questions, visit or call 651-437-7055