Camp Fire kids discover the past at Kirkman museum

Children in the Camp Fire USA program delve with care into the dirt during an archaeological dig at Kirkman House Museum as part of its Hands on History project. Below, right, campers create keepsake scrapbooks.

Children in the Camp Fire USA program delve with care into the dirt during an archaeological dig at Kirkman House Museum as part of its Hands on History project. Below, right, campers create keepsake scrapbooks. Courtesy photo


Up to their elbows in dirt, 50 Camp Fire USA girls and boys carefully sifted for buried treasure at Kirkman House Museum.

Foregoing shovels, they excavated part of the museum’s garden using brushes and fine tools to unearth objects that might have been buried there more than 100 years ago.

This “dig” was just one of many activities Camp Fire kids enjoyed on Day One of Kirkman House’s three-day Hands on History program, said Tim Copeland in a release.

The theme on July 8 was Discovering the Past. On July 15, the theme was Victorian Pastimes. The final event on Aug. 5 will focus on weaving.

The museum’s goal for Hands on History is to bring the Victorian Era to life for local children through activities including an archaeological dig, introduction to the historic games of hopscotch and marbles, readings from a Victorian author and an examination of Victorian inventions.

In keeping with the event’s hands-on theme, the children make Victorian postage stamps, chalk, marbles and keepsake scrapbooks, Tim said.

“Hands on History is a great opportunity for kids to get a glimpse of the history of their community and to learn about what kids did, including games that they played in another era,” said Joshua Gonzales, Camp Fire executive director.

“It gives our Camp Fire kids the chance to experience something new and learn while they get their hands dirty. The whole idea is to make history fun, engaging and accessible. It is a perfect fit for our kids and a lot of fun to have them get excited about the Victorian history of Walla Walla.”

About 100 Camp Fire children attended the July 8 and 15 events at Kirkman House Museum, 214 N. Colville St. Around 50 kids are expected for the Aug. 5 event at Wildwood Park.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 per person; up to $20 per family; or free for museum and NARM members. For more information, see or call 529-4373.


Music of significant note threaded its way through the proposal, celebrity 1920s Parisian masquerade-themed wedding, first dance and beyond for the granddaughter of local residents.

Lauren Parsekian, a 26-year-old anti-bullying activist and filmmaker and the daughter of former Walla Wallan Debra Kelly and husband Tom Parsekian, wed Aaron Paul, 33, two-time Emmy Award-winning star of “Breaking Bad.”

Among the 250 guests attired in flapper dresses, top hats and retro-tailed tuxedos were Lauren’s grandparents, William “Bill” and Virginia Henry of Walla Walla, her uncle Bill Kelly, raised in Walla Walla, and his wife, Christy.

Aaron was accompanied by the strains of “La Vie en Rose” as he proposed to Lauren on a New Year’s Eve in Paris. They also chose to have it played for their first dance at the wedding. The romantic piece written in 1945 about life in rosy hues was the signature song of French singer Édith Piaf.

Tissue was needed when John Mayer sang his hit, “Daughters,” while Lauren danced with her father. “There was not a dry eye in the house,” she said.

The star-studded nuptials included a serenade for the bride of “Beauty” by The Shivers from the groom and their guests, according to

“Aaron had coordinated with all the guests by having them join in and sing to me at the end of the song,” Lauren said.

“He had emailed everyone before the wedding so people could learn it. It was probably the most emotional, overwhelmingly beautiful moment of my life,” Lauren said in an interview with People magazine.

Indie band Foster the People played at the gathering, too. “Everything was perfect,” Aaron said. “It was pretty magical.”

Debra said the May 26 event was described as a “fairy tale wedding. They had stilt-walkers, mimes, carnival rides and even David Blaine performing magic tricks at cocktail hour.”

“I feel like I can fly,” Lauren whispered to Aaron at the altar at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.

The film Lauren wrote and directed, “Finding Kind,” recently was aired at Whitman College’s Cordiner Hall. She also co-founded and is president of Kind Campaign. Her mom is a member of the Walla Walla High School Class of 1974.

Guests included the entire “Breaking Bad” cast, also dressed with a nod toward vintage Parisian attire.

Aaron, who grew up in Idaho, can be seen on the final eight episodes of “Breaking Bad,” which will begin airing on Aug. 11 on AMC.

He will also star in a DreamWorks/Disney mega action movie, “Need For Speed,” due for spring release in 2014.

Bill added that Aaron completed another movie in England with Pierce Brosnan that should be out soon and has been approached for several new movies. “He appears to be a rising star and has a good future. He visited us here in Walla Walla last July and was really impressed with the area.”

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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