Head off “Summer Learning Loss” with a visit to The Salmon Valley.
The days are getting longer, and school is out for summer. Although I look forward to the lazy summer afternoon and slower pace that June brings, I also vividly remember some of the boredom I experienced during summer breaks as a kid. Not only are bored kids more likely to whine, thus ruining my summer afternoon, but experts have recently identified a phenomenon known as “summer learning loss” or “summer slide.” In simple terms, the knowledge kids acquire during the school year fades over the summer without regular practice. The good news is, it can be prevented by continuing learning opportunities when school is out of session.
Load the kids up in the car and come to Salmon for some summer education that will keep them interested! The Sacajawea Interpretive Center is located two miles east of town on Highway 28. Situated on 71-acres of land, the center features a small museum, interpretive trails, and family-friendly activities through the Outdoor School. On most Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the summer, local expert, Judy Washbon, gives interpretive talks in the Meriwether Theater at 11am. On Thursdays and Saturdays, they also host “Visit the Village,” an immersive learning experience that features hands-on activities in the ancestral village.
The Outdoor School hosts a variety of hands-on ancestral living education classes that are suitable for ages 10-adult. If you have younger ones, they can come as well, as long as they have adult supervision and assistance. On June 21st, you can learn to make a two-fletch arrow, and June 28th class will focus on flint knapping—a skill that will send you home with your own arrowhead or stone knife. Classes are $6/person and are “drop-in” from 10am-4pm.
After a day spent learning about the past, head down to Last Chance Pizza for a family pizza party! Your pizza, your rules, but as someone who always appreciates a theme, I recommend the Sacajawea Pizza: pesto, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, toasted almonds, and fresh basil. They also offer gluten free crust! Admire your crafts on the back deck and patio, or cool off in the air conditioner of the main dining room. Cap off your family day by treating the kids to an hour (or two!) at Zoom Arcade on Main Street.
As always, for information on what to do, where to eat & where to stay go to visitsalmonvalley.com
Landon is an international travel guide and writer who is based out of Salmon, Idaho. Her work in the travel industry takes her to rivers around the Pacific Northwest, the Galapagos Islands, and Cuba. Her work as a writer mostly just takes her to a table in the back of a local coffee shop. She writes for television and creates online content. When not working, she enjoys fishing, boating, and knitting.