Students sift through the past; discover today’s treasures
While many students on summer vacation explore video games, several Fayetteville-Manlius School District students recently explored their community’s cultural past during a unique camp with members of the Onondaga Nation.
From July 9 – 12, the F-M Archeology Camp hosted select students from F-M’s middle and high schools as well as Onondaga Nation children. Local archeologists and members of the Onondaga Nation supervised the students as they dug, swept and sifted their way through a plot of the district’s land.
The camp has been running since 1996, and participants come back year after year.
Incoming F-M sophomore Sam Rubacka was digging for the fourth year.
“It is a great experience to have. It helps me think about what I want to do after graduation,” he said.
Each of the five days of camp has a slightly different focus.
Steven Thomas works for the Onondaga Nation in the areas of historical preservation and archeology and has participated in the camp for the past three years.
“The camp gives the students another chance to see where they came from. The exposure is nice, to see where their ancestors lived,” he said.
Jack Rubacka, an incoming Eagle Hill Middle School seventh grade student, discovered a piece of quartz long buried beneath the dirt. It isn’t indigenous to this area, which made it an interesting find.
“It’s fun to see the things that haven’t been seen by a human in hundreds of years,” Jack said.
Interested students in F-M must complete an application and write an essay to attend the camp.
Retired F-M social studies teacher Diana Green helps supervise the camp. Once the artifacts are unearthed, her goal is to have the students catalog the finds.
“The kids are getting a really unique hands-on experience during the camp,” said Mrs. Green.