By Site Superintendent Cynde Georgen; from Trail End Notes, May 2010
EVERY YEAR, TRAIL End plays host to hundreds of school children studying Sheridan and Wyoming history. And every year, we wonder why we do it! (Just kidding!)
While school tours can sometimes be a challenge, they are for the most part extremely rewarding. The “oohs” when third-graders see the ballroom for the first time; the “aahs” when fourth-graders finally make a connection with what they’re being told; the flurry of little hands raising up in the air when they are asked a question - it all makes the tour guides feel like they’ve accomplished something with their time.
In the mad dash to return to their buses and their friends, however, students sometimes forget to say what we all want to hear: “Thank You.” Fortunately, many teachers have their students write individual thank you letters to the site. It’s interesting to read what the children remember (sometimes it is wildly different from what we thought we were teaching!).
Here are a few excerpts from thank you notes we’ve received recently (spelling and punctuation choices are those made by the students, not by the newsletter typist!):
"All the fake food was so cool. The food looked real. There is pie and eggs … the eggs I need at my house because my mom braiks a lot of stuff."
"The kitchen was awesome but, it sure made me hungry. The fake food was all around and looked so real. My mouth was watering. The pots and pans were as black as the midnight sky. The flowered dishes in the cabinet looked so old but so clean."
"I can’t believe that they had a elevator that would send up food. It would be awesome if we had one of those. If we did, I would definitely have one come into my room."
"I enjoyed the smells. The sweet cut grass nice and fresh smelled good. I could picture being in the kitchen while the cooks are cooking a fancy dinner and the aroma in the air. I could smell the beautiful tulips. It smelled as good as my grandma’s pumpkin pie."
"I liked the ballroom. I imagined I was in the old time wearing a ballgown dancing with the band in the corner."
"If there was a ball would the kids get to dance? I mean if they didn’t it wouldn't be fair."
"I like the ballroom … it was so big I bet you can land a plane in there its so huge."
"I liked the ballroom because it was so big. Why aren’t there any spider webs after all those years?"
"The ball room was great. … About the red couch that got sunbeamed, I feel sorry for that couch."
"I like the ballroom because you can danse and lisiin to muice. You can danse to muice with a boy."
"I learned that back then for being a mom, it was hard work."
"I want to thank you for showing me the basement. It had a diorama and two restrooms! It also had a drinking fountain. Clearly that was a historic big house. I could go there every day to get more smarter about history."
"The theater from the outside looked preatty big, but when you compare it to the mansion it was as small as an ant."
"Thank you for giving your time to help teach us … Clearly, you were so generous for giving your time to teach us."
"Thank you for giving us a tour of the Kendrick Mansion. You were a great tourest."
"Thank you for letting us go though the Mansion. And thank you tour guide for taking us through. If we would have gone through ourselves we would be lost."
"That was absolutely the best field trip in the world."
"Thank you for the info you gave us that was really nice of you. You volunteered for us that was sweet of you. I didn’t know that. Why didn’t you tell me. You’re the sweetest."
"This was the best field trip ever. Thank you, thank you. I appreciate it. You guys are awesome!! … Clearly, you can see that I love my field trip it was awesome!!
"Thank you of so very much for the tour through such a magnificent house. Your skill is masterfull. Thank you for maintaining it for future generations to share.
"Thanks for touring us on this field trip. You all rock and don’t forget that."
(Trail End Collection)
State Historic Site