North Carolina doll camp takes children back to yesteryear

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A unique summer camp in Raleigh, North Carolina allows children to play with dolls in a historic 1890s home that looks like a doll house.

The camps at the Historic Polk House on Blount Street combine creativity with learning.

"The directors of the camp want to incorporate history in a fun way, a learning way, have an experience in a home that most people have not had the opportunity to visit," said Peter Daniel, Chair of the Historic Polk House Foundation.

The children engage in arts and crafts projects, such as making purses for their dolls.

"I like making stuff for the American Girl doll and playing with my American Girl doll with my friends," said 9-year-old Gwyneth Overton.

Each camp session has about 20 children, ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old, and lasts five days.

They bring their own American Girl doll or another 19-inch doll.

"My doll is Luciana Vega," said Emi Bruno, 9.

Overton has the same doll.

"She likes space a lot," Overton said. "She wants to go in space and stuff."

The camp setting allows the children to use their imaginations to go back in time.

The Historic Polk House is a Victorian home built in the 1890s.

"It brings their imagination to life," Daniel said. "They learn what it was like to live in the 1890s."

"We learned the history of the house and what was different about it from homes today," said Ann Croft, Historic Polk House Curator.

One camp session focused on what it was like to live during the Depression.

"We rode a bus," Croft said. "We went to a Place at the Table, which is a modified soup kitchen. We ate food at our tea party that they had in the 1930s, and we learned how life was during that time."

But there is one thing the girls don't like about going back to yesteryear.

"If it was a long time ago, then normally the girls wouldn't be able to own anything or go to school," Bruno said.

She's glad she has opportunities like the camp, to keep learning.

The camps are held through the summer and teas are held around Christmas time. Camps cost $140 to $160 for a week.

You can find more information here.
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