School may be out for summer, but this week local rivers, critters and history are the main subjects for area children attending the "Wet and Wild" camp at the Ohio River Museum.
The three-day camp focuses on the importance of the rivers in Washington County, evolution of water transportation and the history of Marietta all through educational activities incorporating science, math, language arts and social studies skills.
"It's hands-on, it's interactive and they get to know people and have great fun," said Glenna Hoff, museum education programmer.
On Wednesday, the campers started the day by touring the W.P Snyder, the last intact steam-powered "pool-type" stern-wheeled towboat in the United States. Museum volunteer Nelson Logan, 60, ties the boat's history to present day examples.
"I like to compare the Snyder to common towboats today and the development of transportation," he said.
The students explored every inch of the old boat from the engine room to the housing cabins, all the way up to the pilot house where they could experience firsthand what it would be like to maneuver the vessel using the 10-foot steering wheel.
The campers, who range from grades three through six, are gaining new insight on things they see on a regular basis.
"I like learning new things," said Addy Betz, 9, of Marietta. "I've learned different parts of the boats."
Later this week the campers will perform more "out of the ordinary" activities such as making rain sticks, experimenting with the properties of water and observing changes in wildlife.
"I'm looking forward to making little boats," said Shallyn Bradford, 11, of Marietta, who enjoys making crafts.
Besides solely crafts, Morgan Bradford, 8, of Marietta is hoping to take some more knowledge home with her as well.
"I'm hoping to learn about Ohio's history," she said. "It's important so we can get smarter."
Logan said he is equally hopeful that the children can take something meaningful from the camp and apply it throughout their lives.
"I hope they get an appreciation for history, where we are as a society and the role Marietta has had in settling the country," he said.
All camp activities will wrap up Friday afternoon when the campers tour the Valley Gem sternwheeler.