Student Museum Musings: Wrapping Up Summer 2016

Another wonderful summer has passed for the Oshawa Museum, and what a summer it was! Canada Day, the Pokemon phenomenon, tours, oh, and ice cream making! Oshawa Museum staff can’t thank our summer students enough for the hard work and enthusiasm that they bring to our site through the summer months.

To wrap up the summer, we asked our four students to answer five questions about the past months.  Here’s what they had to say:


1. 017Why did you choose to spend your summer at the Oshawa Museum?

This summer was actually my fourth summer here. I have really enjoyed my previous summers working here and wanted to continue not only the learning but growing as well.

2. What surprised you the most this summer?

I found two things surprising this summer; One – How big Pokemon Go became and how a portable game can and did affect our numbers. We did get creative to draw people in and it really worked. And two, having Freemasons take us on tour. We are always the ones giving the tours but it was nice to learn about masons and the work they do from masons. They also were able to provide some more information that we could tell visitors on tour.

3. What part of your summer did you find the most challenging?

The most challenging part would also have to be the Freemasonry exhibit. I had a few people go through who already had their set views on masons and wouldn’t accept anything I was saying. We ended going through the rest of that exhibit rather quickly.


4. What will you miss about the Oshawa Museum?

At the end of each summer I have worked here the one thing I miss is the people and the environment. It really is just a great place to work and I always found myself excited to come in to work every day.

5. What are your plans for September?

My plan for this September is finishing my last year of university. I go to Guelph-Humber for Media Studies and specializing in journalism. It’s strange to think when I first came here I was finishing up high school and now they have seen me grow into a full adult.


13724937_10157109032130335_5114078161389576173_o1. Why did you choose to spend your summer at the Oshawa Museum?

I chose to spend my summer at the Oshawa Museum because it is an all-around great place to be! There are wonderful people I have the opportunity to work with and I get to meet new people every day. The location is picturesque; the calming lake surrounded by flowers and the occasional little critter, I get to wake up to them every morning.

2. What surprised you the most this summer?

The most surprising thing this summer was all of the Pokémon Go hunters who came to the Museum! We were flooded by people catching Pokémon in our buildings; it was a lot of fun for me to learn more about Pokémon through our guests.

3. What part of your summer did you find the most challenging?

There were a couple of challenges this summer, but the most challenging was keeping up with our Victorian Teas while wearing a full Victorian costume, in this summer’s heat. Many days were hot and humid but us summer students prevailed and served tea to all who came! Needless to say, I drank tons of water this summer to keep up with the weather. And the air conditioning helped cool us down too.

4. What will you miss about the Oshawa Museum?

I’m going to miss all of the excitement and adventure that comes with working with the staff and other summer students once  the summer is over. Every day is unexpected at the Lake with all of our ongoing programs and projects. Some days we are busy little beavers in the pond, while other days it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Plus, you never know who will be walking through those Museum doors and what their request might be!

5. What are your plans for September?

The summer is ending and as summer comes to a close, I’m excited for September to get back to school for my 3rd year at Trent University. I have a lot of fun and new courses I can’t wait to start in the fall! I’m also really excited to spend some time with my sister helping her plan for her upcoming wedding in November; this fall is going to be full for my family.


0101. Why did you choose to spend your summer at the Oshawa Museum?

About two years ago now I had completed my Co-op placement at the Museum, mostly working with Melissa. I continued to volunteer when I was able to and so when I was offered the chance to work here this summer I jumped at it. To have the opportunity to work at the Oshawa Museum was amazing opportunity. I had wanted to spend my summer doing something that I wold enjoy doing and so this was the perfect fit to do so, and it has been a completely wonderful summer working here and I’ll miss not having to come in to work here in the fall.

2. What surprised you the most this summer?

The thing that surprised me the most during my time here this summer would have to be the sheer amount of people that came into Guy House and would claim to have lived in Oshawa all their life and had either never come down for a tour, or didn’t even know that the Museum existed. Had I of known it would be such a common occurrence I would have suggested a tally chart just to see how many people actually don’t know that we’re down here. I honestly can’t get over it though, because one would think that with all the advertising and events that are put on and that the museum attends that it would be commonly known to the Oshawa residents.

3. What part of your summer did you find the most challenging?

The one aspect of this job that I found to be the most challenging would have to be when I first started to lead tours on my own. I have always hated public speaking, it’s never been my strong point and if I was able to avoid it in school, you can be sure that I did exactly that. But once I started to tag along on tours and slowly started to get more familiar with the script and began leading tours on my own I started to feel more comfortable speaking and leading the tours than I had initially. And so after a full summer of leading tours in front of so many different groups of people I feel that now I will probably feel more comfortable at speaking publicly when it comes to my academic life as well.

4. What will you miss about the Oshawa Museum?

I will miss absolutely everything about working at the museum. The ladies (and gent) who work at the museum are some of the most amazing people that I have had the pleasure to work with. They love what they’re doing and that makes the environment of the museum all the more lively. And I’ll miss working on cataloguing the Henry House collection. It was absolutely fascinating being able to take a look at all of the artifacts that are not currently on display, being able to see what some of the more unusual artifacts actually are and what some things were used for, or the Oshawa souvenir collection, which had some odd knickknacks.

5. What are your plans for September?

This September I will be going back to Peterborough to attend my second year at Trent University for my four year archaeology programme. I will also be moving into my house that I am renting with five other friends from Trent.


1761 Why did you choose to spend your summer at the Oshawa Museum?

When I was looking for places to do my internship, I knew I wanted to be at a smaller site with a historic house. Oshawa Museum has 3 historic houses, so it was a no-brainer. It’s also in a beautiful location in the park!

2. What surprised you the most this summer?

That there were archaeological digs in Oshawa! I’ve lived in Whitby my whole life and never considered the area to be considered “worthy” of an archaeological dig. The result has allowed people to learn more about Oshawa’s early history.

3. What part of your summer did you find the most challenging?

Learning how to navigate the archives. I have taken some intro courses to archival work, but coming to the museum I was able to learn so much more.

4. What will you miss about the Oshawa Museum?

The people, first and foremost. All the staff are so nice and welcoming it will be difficult not coming in every day. I’ll also miss being in Lakeview Park and seeing the ships come in.

5. What are your plans for September?

I’m moving out to Halifax, Nova Scotia to begin a new adventure! I’ll be looking for jobs in the museum field while enjoying a change of scenery.

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