On July 30th, Oaklands Mansion’s new backpack program will roll out! Local Girl Scout Ambassador Chloe Wakham of Troop #2864 has designed a backpack filled with games, crafts, and worksheets, all built to learn more about the history of Oaklands and its impact within our community! This program was completed as part of Wakham’s Gold Award Take Action Project, inspired by her passion for history and love for her city.

The backpacks can be checked out in the museum gift shop. Families are then invited to complete the activities on the grounds together. When finished, children will return the backpack and receive a prize. This program is free and does not require admission to the mansion, as all games and activities will be completed outside on the grounds.

The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities-and beyond. (https://www.girlscouts.org/gogoldonline/)

“I chose to do my Take Action project at Oaklands because I grew up visiting the Mansion,” Wakham says, “and when I was old enough, I spent a week in one of Oaklands’ summer camps and soon after that began volunteering. I was thrilled to contribute in a small way to all the great things that Oaklands does!”

IMG_8727The cornerstone of the tour is the grand Oaklands Mansion. At its peak, Oaklands was the center of a 1,500- acre plantation and one of the most elegant homes in Rutherford County.  Since that time, Oaklands has seen dramatic changes. Following the Civil War, it deteriorated from a majestic mansion to virtual ruins and, in the 1950’s, its very existence was threatened. The mansion was brought back from the brink of destruction, saved from the wrecking ball when a group of concerned ladies created Oaklands Association in 1959.   Since that time, the Association has worked tirelessly to restore Oaklands to its original splendor and preserve its unique history.

The backpacks are inspired by the National Parks Service’s Junior Ranger program, Wakham explains, and are geared to kids 3-13 with worksheets and information cards about life for kids in the 1850s. We hope families will enjoy this free program while visiting the site.

For information, please call (615) 893-0022 or email mb@oaklandsmansion.org.