Sunday, May 1, 2016

Girl Scout High Adventure Day

-from the Head Curator

On Saturday the Girl Scouts of San Diego held their "High Adventure Day" at the IVDM, with 117 scouts, scout leaders, and parents attending.

Learning to play Shaahook
Exploring the Museum grounds
 Thanks to a Community Benefits Grant sponsored by Imperial County District 3 Supervisor Michael Kelley, all girl scouts attended the event for free.  "The grant from the County Board of Supervisors if for recruitment and programming and really made this event possible, "said Nina Crabtree, the new Girl Scout Membership Recruitment and Support Specialist.  "It has a tremendous impact when so many troops get together. It really allows you to see how exciting and fun scouting is in the Valley."

Coiled Clay pot making

 "The High Adventure Day was open to all Girl Scout Troops in the Imperial Valley" said Rea de la Cruz, the Troop Support Manager for Girl Scouts San Diego "including our Juniors, Brownies, Daises, and Cadets.  We had great participation with one-fifth of all Girl Scouts in Imperial County coming to the event."

Exploring desert plants on a hike
Throughout the event, the scouts had the opportunity to make a coiled clay pot, hike through the museum property learning to identify animal tracks, and play Shaahook, a traditional Kumeyaay game.

Walking Stick insect jumped at the chance to make new friends
A Western Shovel-Nose snake discovered on a hike
"We did not expect to see any desert animals, but my group came across a Western Shovel-nose snake and a Walking Stick, an insect that looked just like a small stick." said de la Cruz.  "It is amazing that this type of desert wildlife was just right there, this was just a great experience for our girls."

 "The Shaahook game is something we have not done before with a large group like this," said Marcie Rodriguez, Education Coordinator at the museum, "but it was really fun and competitive.  It proved to be the most popular part of the event, with some groups staying 45 minutes past the end of the day to finish playing."
Angelina Coble teaches Shaahook to a competitive group of scouts

Special thanks to Rodrigo Bernal, Angelina Coble, Robin Dodge, Mary Fitzurka, and Albert Lutz for their help in making this event a fun day for everyone!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Member Engagement

-Education Coordinator

A few weeks ago we posted an advertisement for a presentation on the history of the Chinese migration in the Mexicali and Imperial Valleys, located in the Mexicali Archives. While the presentation is a little out of our normal scope, the presenter, Andrew Alverez, is one of our research interns, and we wanted to show our support in his work outside of the museum, as well as inside. His presentation was on Thursday, and we were thrilled to find that not only were we supporting his efforts, but a member was as well!

Joan lives in San Diego, but does work here in the Imperial Valley, and decided since she was in the area in Thursday, she would come and see Andrew present. She stopped in to say hello to us on her way back out to San Diego to tell us what a fantastic job he did. It is so thrilling for us to see our members engage with us about the different actives in our community, and to see them not only support us as a museum but our interns and students in their individual projects.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

37th Annual Children's Fair

-Education Coordinator

Yesterday was El Centro's 37th Annual Children's Fair, and as always, we were there!  The fair was brought to us by The Child Abuse Prevention Council. We featured our coiled clay program, which teaches children and adults alike a 1,000 year old traditional art method used by our local native tribe, the Kumeyaay. We had around 175 children visit our booth over the course of the day.

We also had some familiar faces come out to visit and help us run the booth. Kohl's employees volunteered to help us, just like they did for the Wilson Art Fair! I am so happy they enjoyed their time enough that they came out to join us again. Thanks to the Kohl's Cares program, and the willingness of their volunteers, Kohl's will be donating $500 dollars to the museum's education program. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put in.

We also had a new face at the booth, Humberto Dominguez came out to help volunteer as well. Humberto is a student at SDSU who is working towards a teaching credential. We appreciate his help with this program and hope to see him again.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Research Party at the Museum!

Steve O'Neil and Randy West
discussing the hunting mask. 

-Education Coordinator

What a wonderful day out here at the museum! We had Dr. Alan Garfinkel, founder and director of the California Rock Art Foundation and Principle Archaeologist for UltraSystems Environmental, Inc, and Steve O'Neil, the cultural resource manager for UltraSystems, out to study our Kumeyaay hunting mask. Along with them came Randy West, who donated the mask to the museum in 2015. The mask had been found by Randy's great grandfather in the 1920s. This mask is the only one of it's kind in the world.

Alan and Educator Coordinator
looking at the Childer's Collection.

While here, Alan and Steve, along with our staff, began to examine the artifacts from the Childers Collection. This collection came from local archaeologist Morlin Childers, and had been unavailable for study for around 30 years. While going through the collection, Alan was able to identify a collection of points, including a limace point, which is estimated to be between 7000 - 11,000 years old.

The limace point, dating back
7,000 - 11,000 years ago. 
He spent his evening with us as well, giving a presentation on the importance of bighorn sheep in ceremonies, and in his discussion, he talked about a ceremonial mask that is made from the horns of the sheep. It, like our own mask, is a one of a kind, and is on display at a museum in Utah.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Celebrating Art- Wilson Jr High Art Fest

-from the Education Coordinator

This Tuesday was Wilson Junior High's Annual Art Fair, and the Imperial Valley Desert Museum's History On The Go program was there!  414 participants stopped by our booth this year to learn how to make a coiled clay pot

414 people in 3 hours came by our booth

There were kids of all ages, and some adults, getting their hands dirty to make ceramic pieces. The fair was packed with members of the community as the fair continues to grow every year. Students from around the valley are able to bring their art work to be displayed, and then at the interactive booths, like the one IVDM ran, are able to make brand new pieces of art work. There are also live performances of cheer, dance, and music.
Thanks to Kohl's Cares Associates for volunteering!

Having the booth at these fairs would, of course, not be possible without the support of our wonderful volunteers and staff. A very special thanks to Albert Lutz, Angelina Coble, Neil Zinn, and Sue Hess for helping us make this happen. A huge difference was made by Alejandra, Priscilla, Valerie, Amanda, and Jeffery from Kohl's in El Centro, who volunteered through the Kohl's Cares Associates in Action volunteer program.  Through this program Kohl's Associates donate their personal time to helping support their local communities and non-profit organizations.  Kohl's also awarded the Imperial Valley Desert Museum with a $500 grant to support youth art programs.  This grant money will go towards supporting the coiled clay program, ensuring that there are enough supplies to last for many future events. Thanks Volunteers!   

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Girl Scouts Hike Fossil Canyon

-from our Education Coordinator

Today, our Education Coordinator, Marcie Rodriguez, took Girl Scout Troop 7030 out on a hike to Fossil Canyon, in the Coyote Mountains. This canyon gives a wonderful geologic perspective on Imperial County. Because of the volcanic activity that existed here 17 million years ago, you can see the layer of black volcanic rock, known as basalt, laying on top of the mountain, rather than below where it usually sits.

The beginning part of the trail is an easy walking trail, one most anyone can do. The girls, and their families, began from a Bureau of Land Management road, and walked into the canyon. From there, they hiked along the inside of

the base of the canyon, till we got to a basalt formation that is a dried waterfall. The girls were adventurous, and decided from there they wanted to try to climb the mountain! They made it almost to the top, before the trail became too rough. After that, they hiked back down to bottom, to have a picnic lunch. Even the lunch was an adventure, as the everyone sat and ate
under a slip strike fault.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Donate by Shopping!

-from the Curator

Did you know that donating to the Imperial Valley Desert Museum can be as fun and easy as shopping on  Now when you shop through Amazon will donate 0.5% of your total to the museum.  Every little bit helps us keep the museum running and staffed, so please remember us when you're shopping.

Thanks! Your support is appreciated!