Nantucket Historical Association

Education Intern

June - August 2019 • Nantucket, MA

What I liked

I enjoyed working on a variety of tasks within the Nantucket Historical Association. Some of the tasks included creating child friendly activities that have context relating to historical sites. It was an amazing experience to be given the responsibility to create these activities from the research phase to running the activities at two different sites for the Historical Association. One of the activities was the history of corn husk dolls and how to make them, and another showed the different ways herbs were used in colonial times such as certain herbs being used to make salves. I was also able to work with many other employees and interns who also shared a love of history and tried their best to give amazing tours of the historic sites. The two main historic sites I worked at were the Old Mill and the Oldest House. The Nantucket Historical Association is an amazing association that cares about history and tries to turn history into a fun and exciting experience for visitors rather than just a one dimensional way of learning.

What I wish was different

While the Nantucket Historical Association is an amazing association, there were certain things I wished would have been different. For the time periods that were slow at a particular site, it would have been nice to have been either sent to cover a different site or had some activity assigned to fill the time.


One piece of advice I would give about my experience this past summer was be willing to try different things and if they don't work out the way you expected, feel free to change them on the spot. For example, I was responsible for creating activities about historical uses for herbs. My first thought was to take samples from the garden and put them on display in cups of water. My goal was for visitors to touch and smell the herbs, and then I would come up with questions about the herbs based on their observations. I realized early on this idea does not work well with younger children as they would rather crush the herbs and play with them than smell them. So I decided to change the activities to relate more to the uses of the herbs such as the creation of salves, a cream made from herbs and oil to help with injuries, and poultices, water and herb mixture to help with injuries. Over the course of a few days I completely changed the activities in order to be appropriate to the audience.
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