The Nebraska National Forests and Grassland’s (NNFG) Hudson Meng staff is planning a special Ranger Talk, in addition to an Open House for Labor Day weekend, August 31 through September 3, 2018. Several exciting events will be held to celebrate the beginning of Nebraska Archeology month in September, as well as the 19th anniversary of the Hudson Meng Visitor Center.
The weekend celebration will kick-off with a Ranger Talk on Friday, August 31 at 7:00 pm at Fort Robinson State Park. The new NNFG Forest Archaeologist, Heather Horobik will share an interactive presentation to help participants learn about the field of archeology; including the rich Nebraska history, how you can find ties to it in unlikely places, and what to do if you stumble across a site on public land. There will be a Nebraska History trivia game. While the Ranger Talk is free of charge, permits are required to enter Nebraska State Parks, and can be purchased at the Chadron State Park front desk.
The Hudson Meng Open House and 19th anniversary of the Visitor Center celebrations begin Saturday, September 1st and continue through Monday, September 3rd. All admission fees will be waived throughout the weekend. Special features include several games for all ages with prizes; multiple opportunities to learn and practice crafts; and culminate with a free lunch on Sunday, beginning at 11:00 am. The Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, an important partner of the NNFG, is donating the food.
There are multiple children’s activities and games and all participants will receive a junior archeologist certificate. Games and activities include:
- Learn to make your own Atlatl craft activity. An atlatl is an ancient weapon used by prehistoric hunters, resembling a spear.
- Complete a junior archeology book.
- Seek archeology treasures by sifting through dirt.
- Explore the Hudson Meng area using the Agents of Discovery mobile game app, which invites children to solve challenges on their own mobile device. The Black Hills Parks and Forests Association will award prizes to the first three players who complete mission. (There are two missions; K-3rd grade students and 4-6th grade students.)
Please Note: This app is free to download from Google Play or iOS App store. Once downloaded, make sure to add Hudson-Meng k-3rd or 4th-6th to the mission list. Please download the app before you visit! The game is free to play and does not require data or Wi-Fi once downloaded to a device.
Atlatl demonstrations will be held throughout the weekend and visitors are encouraged to join the fun. A competition will be held on Sunday at 2:00 pm with two groups, youth (up to age 11 years) and adults, (ages 12 years and older.) A local flint knapper will also be on hand Sunday to demonstrate flint knapping, which was used for many years to craft knives and weapons.
Hudson Meng will be closed for the winter beginning Tuesday, September 4, 2018. For more information on the Labor Day events, off-season tours or educational programs, please call the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands at 308-432-0300 or Ryan Means, 308-221-4162.