The Daniel Island Historical Society didn’t reinvent the wheel, but the group has plans in motion to get kids more engaged in local history. The innovative idea just happens to involve two wheels.
To leap into fall, DIHS is planning an inaugural “Kids Ride & Seek History Bike Adventure” on Saturday, Sept. 10. Kids in grades K-3, ages 5 to 9, are invited to ride around to five locations around Daniel Island to learn more about the island’s history.
The free, family-friendly event is leisurely at your own pace and not a competition. The event will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Crow’s Nest Pool in Edgefield Park and last until about noon. All participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Over the summer, the idea popped into Elizabeth Bush’s head, the co-founder of DIHS. Bush wanted the event to have the mystery feel of a scavenger hunt but with the educational component.
“I think at any age, we need to appreciate and understand the past – and how it contributed to our present day community,” Bush said. “By educating kids about island history, we can contribute to that greater understanding and, hopefully, inspire them to take pride in the place they call home.”
DIHS member and event co-coordinator Edie MacLaughlin has been right beside Bush every step of the way. As a former teacher, MacLaughlin decided to get involved because molding young minds is her passion.
“There’s nothing like learning first-hand what history lies just outside our doorsteps,” MacLaughlin said. “Our kiddos will get to use their detective skills and map reading skills.”
The adventure will begin with bike safety checks provided by Cooper River Cycles of Daniel Island. Bikers will then be split into four different groups that will embark on a five-stop journey around the southern part of the island – all locations are south of I-526 – which include: the Mitchell Pier historical marker, the Smythe Park Live Oaks historical marker, Raven’s Creek, Simmons Cemetery and the Daniel Island Library.
At each stop, participants will hear a brief history tidbit from a DIHS volunteer. They will then answer a question about what they learned, get a sticker for their “Ride & Seek” passport, and move on to the next stop. Questions like: Where did Daniel Island get its name?
Who lived on the island before us? What sorts of things did those early residents do while living here? What was Native American life like on Daniel Island?
“We thought it was a fabulous idea and knew it would be something kids would love to take part in,” Bush added. “We are starting out with just younger kids for this first, inaugural event – but we hope to add additional grades, more stops, and more fun challenges at next year’s event.”
All participants must sign a liability release form which will be provided. Register by Saturday, Sept. 3, by emailing Edie MacLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the ride, bikers will return to The Crow’s Nest for refreshments and other special treats. The event is sponsored by the Daniel Island Community Fund, Cooper River Cycles and Blackbaud.