By Melody Woods, Fulton Mansion Educator
This past summer, Aransas County kids discovered Victorian etiquette can be fun! Fulton Mansion State Historic Site—in partnership with the Texas Maritime Museum, Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries, Goose Island State Park, and the Bay Education Center—sponsored the Summer Experience in Aransas (S.E.A.) Camp, where more than 150 local 1st–5th graders visited each partner site in Rockport/Fulton.
Campers at Fulton Mansion had an old-fashioned good time rotating through five Victorian-themed activity stations. The tea station was a favorite with the kids—the Fulton Mansion Education Center was transformed into an elegant Victorian tea room where Site Manager Marsha Hendrix taught campers proper tea time etiquette. Campers served each other sugar and cream, then enjoyed tea with delicious shortbread cookies.
Many kids were surprised to learn the Victorians liked to dance. Kids compared modern dance to Victorian dance before pulling on white gloves and giggling their way through the waltz. Campers also made colorful Victorian posie bouquets. One little boy proved that flowers aren’t just for girls when he said his favorite activity was “making a posie.”
The hot summer sun didn’t stop the kids from enjoying the outdoor craft stations. At the fan station, campers used colorful craft materials to create their own Victorian-style paper fans. One 1st grader was so impressed with her paper fan that she said it was “better than air conditioning!” At the calling card station, kids learned proper etiquette needed to visit, or “call,” on a friend, and then created their own unique calling cards.
A very special thanks goes out to the Friends of the Fulton Mansion for providing the S.E.A. Camp supplies, and to the volunteers who led the station activities.