Aficionados of anything, from old cars to opera, may be able to describe their enthusiasm for the object of their passion, but unable to say exactly why they love what they love. It’s a dilemma that can push one’s reputation from “fan” to “fanatic” in the eyes of friends and relatives, as your collection grows and your time is eaten up pursuing yet another experience in its name.
If you happen to love lighthouses – pictures, models or the real thing – an enjoyable opportunity to share this passion has been arranged. The Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) is offering a series of special sessions on four Thursdays in July and August, designed for parents and grandparents to take their children on guided tours of the Rondout Lighthouse, located in the Hudson River at the mouth of the Rondout Creek. The Museum’s Public Education director Lana Chassman suggests that this would be a fun way to engage visiting grandchildren in an activity that will entertain and educate them.
HRMM’s master educator John Miller will conduct two-hour-long, in-depth experiences that will include a boat ride on The Lark. The boat ride takes approximately 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back to the Maritime Museum, during which time Miller will focus on historical and geographical factoids to enlighten kids young and old. On July 22, the subject will be “Natural History and Ecology”: the active Hudson River environment, its wildlife, tides and currents. Everything you’ve always wanted to know about “Boats, Boats, Boats!” will be the topic on July 29. Find out about the maritime history of the Hudson River and the many industries that developed around it – brickmaking, bluestone quarrying, ice harvesting, cement and transportation – on August 12, when “Industry: from Bricks to Bluestone” is the focus. And on August 19 the subject will be “Peoples”: a review of the evolution of the Native American cultures indigenous to this Hudson River Valley region, how it passed to the Dutch, then to the English, through the Great American Industrial Explosion up to present-day efforts for environmental awareness, stewardship and sustainability.
Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and shoes (nothing open-toed) and be ready to get down-and-dirty. Don’t forget light snacks and water, sunscreen, a hat, binoculars, cameras and a small notebook if you wish to take notes or make sketches. Sessions run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Each is a “stand-alone” session, so visitors can register for just one or take advantage of all four memorable sessions. The cost for each session is $25 for one adult with one child; additional participants per family unit are $5 each. For further information contact the Hudson River Maritime Museum at (845) 338-0071, extension 15 or 19, or visit the website at www.hrmm.org.