The Cornhusker Council of the Boy Scouts of America is inviting the public to celebrate the 150th anniversary of statehood with activities highlighting the historical and diverse origins of Nebraskans.
Hundreds of Cub Scouts are expected to attend the event, “NE 150: Diverse Origins sponsored by Cub Scouting,” from 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol. Activities are targeted at kindergarten through fifth-grade youth and their families. The first 500 Scouts in uniform to check in at the information desk will receive a commemorative patch.
Among the activities will be an ancient biology station where participants will identify fossils while learning about the original animals and being challenged to find the animals in the mosaic floor of the Capitol rotunda.
The sounds of drums will draw people to the Native American station on Centennial Mall, where University of Nebraska-Lincoln students will guide them across a giant stone map of Nebraska, tracing the path of Standing Bear as he was forced from his home in Nebraska, returned to bury his son, was arrested, and then tried in Omaha.
A highlight of the event will be hearing the words of Standing Bear at that trial as retold by re-enactor Taylor Keen in the chamber of the Nebraska Supreme Court. Presiding over the re-enactment at 1:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. will be Supreme Court Justices Mike Heavican and John Wright.
Newer origins will be emphasized at the immigrants station. Recent immigrants, normally refining their English language skills with Lincoln Literacy, will turn the tables and teach youngsters to say phrases such as “where is the bathroom?” in Thai.
Youth can pack their wagon at the pioneers station, but they’ll have to choose wisely because there is only so much space.
And when families are ready to explore the Capitol's art, five “I Spy” stations will draw them across the building, including special access to the governor’s reception room.
Event organizer Chad Brassil said the purpose is to “connect Nebraskans to their past and to see how that diversity informs today — plus we want to have a lot of fun.”
The event is being organized in cooperation with more than 14 partnering organizations, including the Mayhew Cabin, the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, and the Lincoln Chapter of the American Historical Society of the Germans from Russia.
Full event details: go.unl.edu/ne150.