Museum hosts final Discovery Corner — maybe for a while

Rawlins Daily Times, Chad Abshire Katie Neuman smiles while Dawson Neuman works on coloring a cardboard dinosaur during the Carbon County Museum’s last Discovery Corner event for the season.

Rawlins Daily Times, Chad Abshire
Katie Neuman smiles while Dawson Neuman works on coloring a cardboard dinosaur during the Carbon County Museum’s last Discovery Corner event for the season.

By Chad Abshire

editor@rawlinstimes.com

RAWLINS — The Carbon County Museum hosted its final Discovery Corner of the season Wednesday afternoon — and maybe its last one for a while.

Walking kids through a cardboard dinosaur project — with a choice of either brontosaurus or triceratops, two dinosaurs that once called Wyoming home — Museum Outreach and Education Coordinator Lauren Hunley said the series of fun, outdoor activities had been a success for the year.

With only four planned during a season, Hunley said the reasoning is that the next one would fall during Fair Week “and we don’t want to compete with another great in-town, in-county activity” and the one after that would be during school.

“Its really hard, you know, Wyoming only has so many warm days,” she said. “We’re all competing for the same audience, same crowds and we try to work well together.”

But rather than thinking of expanding the successful events in the future, Hunley said the Museum was struggling to even keep it running.

“We’re still up in the air as to whether or not we’ll be able to have it next year because of the budget concerns,” she said.

Museum Director Kelly Bohanan told the Daily Times last week that the strapped county budget may not allow for the 2017 High Plains Powwow or a solar eclipse viewing party set for next August.

“We were able to continue Discovery Corner this year because we already had all of our supplies,” she said. “Next year, it will come down to if we can do activities that we already have everything we need.”

Rawlins Daily Times, Chad Abshire  Carbon County Museum Outreach and Education Coordinator Lauren Hunley holds a cardboard dinosaur for Alexis Thorvaldson and Chase Neuman while Charlene Neuman watches.

Rawlins Daily Times, Chad Abshire
Carbon County Museum Outreach and Education Coordinator Lauren Hunley holds a cardboard dinosaur for Alexis Thorvaldson and Chase Neuman while Charlene Neuman watches.

Though not turning away community support, Hunley said the Museum hadn’t asked for it. Further, she also said it was “really hard for us to justify asking for support for an event like this, even though it’s a really great event, when we’re laying people off.”

“How do we come back and say, ‘give us craft supplies, oh by the way we just had to take away somebody’s job?’ It’s a really hard balance for us.”

Rayah Tuzeneu said she brings her child, Zachariah, to the event whenever it’s going on.

Tuzeneu said it was an event she’d “definitely” like to see continue.

“We need things like this in our community that get people out and gets our kids learning and involved in things,” she said.

Hunley said the Museum “always has a lot of fun” with Discovery Corner and said the community was supportive — with families who either come every time or those who come once and spread the word.

Hunley said during Wednesday’s event, a family from Rawlins, another one with kids visiting from California and another from a location she couldn’t quite recall had dropped by.

“We had three families from three very different places and they’re here sharing space, enjoying the museum and having conversations and it happens because their kids are coloring dinosaurs,” she said. “That’s the root of it.

“And we love it. We love having people take advantage of our yard, seeing our schoolhouse and we get to color dinosaurs and learn more about what we have here in Wyoming.”

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