Baden Cubs make archaeological find at Camp Everton

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Baden Cub Scouts participated in North Waterloo Scouting’s 75th Anniversary Celebrations at Camp Everton near Rockwood over the weekend, including an archeology dig led by Dr. Robert MacDonald, a partner with the consulting firm Archaeological Services Inc.

MacDonald was a student archaeologist at the University of Western Ontario when he led a team to a farm field near New Dundee in 1983. The team unearthed the longest Iroquoian longhouse in North America, among other finds, on what was known as the Coleman Site.

The hands-on archaeological program at Camp Everton allowed youth to dig into the pioneer history of this 66 year-old Scout camp.  Settled in the 1820s by the Loyalist Everts family, the original stone farmhouse is still a prominent feature of Camp Everton. Artifact deposits associated with this pioneer homestead were investigated by Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, and Rovers as part of the unique archaeological learning experience.

The dig program began with an introduction to nineteenth century artifacts, and a primer on archaeological methods followed by hands-on excavation using trowels, dust pans, paint brushes, buckets, and bi-pod screens. Program staff supervised all excavation activity and assisted the Scout participants in proper excavation techniques and artifact identification. The one-hour sessions were supervised by a volunteer team including licensed professional archaeologists, university students, and specially trained senior Scouting youth (Venturers and Rovers). The project director, Dr. Robert MacDonald, is a partner with the consulting firm of Archaeological Services Inc., an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Waterloo, and a leader with the 11th Kitchener Scout Troop.

Test excavations on the site in the fall of 2008 confirmed the existence of archaeological deposits adjacent to the pioneer farmhouse, currently known as Ladies Lodge. Several test pits yielded an array of nineteenth century artifacts, including: sponged and hand-painted table wares, glazed red earthenware, a fragment of a white clay pipe stem, a shell button, a hand-forged nail, an iron latch plate or flange, window glass, and various pieces of animal bone. These results suggested the dig would be very productive and will give Scouting youth an experience that they won’t soon forget. In addition to learning about the process of doing archaeology, they discovered many new things about the pioneers of Camp Everton while making a very tangible contribution to the lore of the camp.

Three Baden Cubs, who were the last group to take part in the dig managed to uncover the “find of the day.”  They worked for nearly two hours with archeology student, Mia, to get a skeleton out of the ground. It is believed to be the remains of a small animal or large bird.

The boys shown in the picture are Brody Baillargeon, Griffin Brunk, Jonathan Pavey.

Photos by Angie Gingerich, their Cub Leader.

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