This summer, my family put in some hard work in 90+ degree heat to repair damage from a tornado to our lake house property in north Georgia. It was amazing at the end of the day to see what we had accomplished with saws, wheelbarrows, and a huge pile of wood chips!
I’m Ellen Smith and I felt the very same pride on June 2nd when members of the Conner Prairie Alliance
were invited to a sneak peek and dedication of the 1863 Civil War Journey’s River Crossing Play Area
. Our hard work at The Apple Store
at Conner Prairie last fall helped underwrite the area through a $90,000 donation. Those of us with young kids were able to see the immediate fruits of our labor in their faces that afternoon as they enjoyed the play area. And all of us are smiling at the thought of the hundreds of kids playing in the water and piloting the steamship Alice Dean every day this summer.
Working at the Apple Store may not involve hard labor like my time in Georgia (although lifting huge barrels of apple cider up to fill our slushie machine takes a certain amount of brawn!), Alliance members work hard to keep our store open for more than 300 hours in September and October each year. Countless additional volunteer hours of preparation and maintenance year-round are required to succeed in our goal of supporting the mission and programs of Conner Prairie.
Along the way, we have so much fun and get to know each other better as we dip thousands of caramel apples, stock many varieties of orchard apples and gourmet food items, work the registers and serve our customers.
We’re gearing up now for another season of raising money to support Conner Prairie: The Apple Store opens on Thursday, September 1st! If you love to sit back at the end of a long day and feel happy and proud about what you’ve contributed, you’re invited to join us now. Visit the 1863 Civil War experience and the River Crossing Play Area, check out our Alliance and Apple Store websites, then contact us at ConnerPrairieAlliance@gmail.com
for membership information.
We’d love to welcome you aboard!
Sarah Frey - Communications Assistant
is a busy time of year for Conner Prairie. We are quickly shifting gears from Civil War Days
to Civil War Journey
to celebrating our nation’s birthday! You know what else happens on the 4th of July? A lot of people go camping, to the lake – an extended weekend makes for a great mini-vacation.
Turns out this occasion opened a door for me. I was able to work in Prairietown as the host.
I arrived Saturday morning, stashed all my stuff (including my iPhone!) in my cubicle, picked up a radio and ear piece (very official) and reported for duty. My specific job for the day: wander around Prairietown and Civil War Journey to make sure everyone was doing ok, all questions were answered and no one looked lost. My unforeseen job for the day: learn a ton from Mitchell, the carpenter, Militia, and interpreters and pull around a wagon full of ice and lemonade.
Spending the day being the only girl around the Militia can prove to be pretty interesting. What really stands out in my memory is walking towards Prairietown Crossroads, and seeing two pigs roasting over a fire. At first I was definitely taken back but after being around it for 3-4 hours, I was used to it and when it came time to go home, I wanted to stay for dinner!
My partner for the day, Mitchell, was a bounty of information. He has been at Conner Prairie for many years. It was so interesting to see him interact with the guests and how they really engaged in conversation with him. A big HUZZAH to him because it was hot and he managed to patiently answer ALL my questions and still take care of guests.
Does it sound like I enjoyed myself a little more than I should have while working outside in the heat, bugs, pigs cooking over a fire, and the rowdy Militia? …I did.