Members of the Guadalupe Master Naturalists took a group of children on a journey to the past while never leaving the Seguin Public Library on Monday afternoon.

The nine children had the opportunity to step back in time into the shoes of a Tonkawa Indian during the Discover Early Texans program.

“We try to break things down and show things that the kids won’t get in a book,” Guadalupe County Master Naturalist Larry White said. “This class is going to be about the Tonkawa tribe and we are going to try to show to our children what life was like before western civilization came.”

The class consisted of four different stations the children could learn from through hands-on lessons. The stations focused on different topics varying from rope and twine braiding to the showcase of different foods that the Indians would have snacked on, White said.

The class kicked off on the patio of the library to a pack of giddy children surrounding Master Naturalist Liz Romero as she described the conditions that the Tonkawa Indians used to sleep in motioning toward various pelts she had whisked away under a close by bench.

Children like 5-year-old Trace Retzloff and his little sister 3-year-old Brettyn lit up at the sight of the pelts and flocked as class members took turns rolling around in the pelts as if they were the only source of warmth within an ancient Tonkawa cave that was the outside library bench.

“I think it’s great,” mother Sarah Retzloff said. “I love that they get to have their hands on things and look and learn about what the Tonkawa Indians did.”

It’s not just about learning the history of the tribe to Retzloff. The mother of two also hopes that the class can offer up an opportunity for Trace and Brettyn to become closer to nature.

“We’ve come to several of the Master Naturalists classes and we love the group,” she said. “They do a good job and the kids learn a lot.”

Although the pelt shelter seemed to be popular, Master Naturalist Patte White — wife to Larry White — claims that the crowd favorite was a little more hands on.

“It’s funny, all the kids seem to be interested the most in is grinding corn,” she said.

Joining the Discovery program for the first time was Preston Lohr and his son Jalen, who were happy to have the opportunity to learn about the Indian tribe and get away from technology.

“This is the first time we’ve been to discovery class and were really excited to check it out,” Lohr said. “We try to get all of our kids involved in these types of activities to get them away from staring at a screen all day and the kids get a history lesson while staying active.”

Discover Early Texans will return on Saturday and will be the last Discover class until Sept. 9 which is titled Discover Clues and Traces and will focus on how animals use camouflage.

 

Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at joe.martin@seguingazette.com .

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