Going on safari with SAFE BASE

SAFE BASE students visited the safari museum in small groups this week. This was the first week of the summer program. Each week features educational activities from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with a field trip on Thursdays. Students can still sign up.

By

News

June 4, 2021 - 1:35 PM

Fourth-graders look at a museum exhibit of native Africans dressed as antelope for a ceremonial dance at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute. Clockwise, front, Alicia Rodriguez, Karen Glukowsky, Brealynn Andres, Dominic Richards and Faith Warden in back.

CHANUTE — In Africa, interpretive dance is an education. 

Natives dressed up in antelope costumes for elaborate dance ceremonies to connect with spirits they believed were linked to a benevolent god. They believed a god that was part-human, part-antelope taught their ancestors how to farm.

Dance teaches not just physical movement but also history and the ancient skills needed to survive in society, Conrad Froehlich, director of the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum, told a group of fourth-graders visiting from Iola’s SAFE BASE summer school program.

SAFE BASE students weed a flowerbed. Left side, Alex Burrow and Jase Hamilton, standing; right side, back to front, staff member Jessica Tidd, Jazmyn Potter, Finley Nelson and Brynnlee Thompson. (REGISTER/VICKIE MOSS)

SAFE BASE students visited the safari museum in small groups this week.

This was the first week of the summer program. Each week features educational activities from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with a field trip on Thursdays. Students can still sign up, and attendance can be limited to one week at a time or the entire program.

Students play on an old train displayed at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute. From left, Dominic Richards, Hunter McDaniel, Logan Belknap-Thompson, Faith Warden, Alyssa Williams and Alicia Rodriguez. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

This past week, students learned about animals and more. In addition to the trips to the safari museum, they attended cooking classes and worked in the garden, or took part in various other activities. Friday they visited the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita.

Next week, they’ll go to the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve near Bartlesville, Okla.

Museum director Conrad Froehlich talks to Jordyn Potter, second from left, about a table made from an elephant’s leg. In back from left, instructor Tim Genoble, Pamela Brownfield and Shayden Thyer. (REGISTER/VICKIE MOSS)

An interesting note about the trip to Woolaroc: Safari museum director Froehlich showed students a table made from an elephant’s leg, which was the only elephant killed by the Johnsons. The head of that same elephant is on display at the Woolaroc museum.

Faith Warden walks past a case filled with African jewelry at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

The week of June 14, is about aviation. They’ll hear from an impersonator, Bill Nicks, who will portray famous aviator Wilbur Wright. Younger students will take a field trip to Exploration Place in Wichita. Older students will visit Amelia Earhart museums in Atchison, and will go ziplining.

The final week, starting June 21, they’ll cool off at the Rock River Rapids, an aquatic park at Derby. 

THE TRIP to Chanute was important not only to teach students about African culture, but also to show them “the amazing things we have right in our own backyard,” SAFE BASE director Angela Henry said.

“I’m really happy how impressed the kids have been by the museum,” Henry said.

“I’m really happy how impressed the kids have been by the museum,” Henry said.

Martin and Osa Johnson were explorers, photographers, filmmakers and authors from Kansas who studied the people and wildlife of East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islands and British North Borneo.

Working in the Wayne Garrett’s Children’s Garden, from left, John Richards, SAFE BASE garden coordinator, Nevaeh Luke, Finley Nelson and staff member Shari Day. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

The museum opened in 1961 and relocated into the renovated Santa Fe Depot in 1993. 

The museum was completely closed to the public for two months at the start of the pandemic, then opened with restrictions and without guided tours. The museum began welcoming students back last month. 

“It’s been a joy to have the school children back,” Froehlich said.

USD 2567 fourth-graders ride the Monarch Cement train at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute. From left, Breighlynn Rutherford, Kinzley Fountain, Bayleigh Scheibmeir, Brealynn Andres and Karen Glukowsky (partially hidden). (REGISTER/VICKIE MOSS)

Related