Adventure Learning Camps


By Lauren Lepinski

May 4th, 2007
University of Idaho

A violinist plays to passersby at Moscow's Renaissance Fair

Bringing a Family to the Renaissance Fair

This year’s Renaissance Fair features a schedule packed with activities for children and their families.

Donal Wilkinson, the executive director of Adventure Learning Camps, is orchestrating two whole days of activities for children.

“I am teaching a whole bunch of classes,” Wilkinson said. “They’re each about an hour long. The subjects range from bird and plant identification to how to cook a backpacking dinner to Native American storytelling.”

The classes are all things participants in Adventure Learning Camps trips would do in the field, Wilkinson said.

As an employee of Adventure Learning Camps, Wilkinson plans and guides trips into the wilderness for children and their families.

“We are a nonprofit organization,” Wilkinson said. “Right now the trips only cost about $100, and we are working to get them free. We want this to be a chance for kids to get outside that normally wouldn’t.”

Besides the classes, Wilkinson is also overseeing an obstacle course and a “touch table”.

“A touch table is just a table full of things for the kids to handle and examine,” Wilkinson said. “I usually have things like antlers, bones, elk teeth, bugs and turtle shells.”

The obstacle course is built for children to climb through ropes and tires.

“It’s kind of like a non-plastic and non-metal jungle gym,” Wilkinson said.

Jennifer Whitney, the fair’s publicity director said people go to the Renaissance Fair for the sense of community.

“Donal’s activities will bring children into that sense of community,” Whitney said.

There will also be a Pirate Treasure Hunt for children to participate in.

Betsy Bybell, a part-time librarian and puppeteer/storyteller will lead this event with the assistance of her daughter, Tanya Gale.

“My pirate name will be Batsy,” Bybell said. “For the treasure hunt, I will be roaming the park with my parrot puppet and handing out treasure maps with simple clues that lead to my treasure chest.”

Gale, also dressed as a pirate, will be waiting at the chest to hand out small prizes to the children who find her. She will also make balloon animals and swords.

“I chose pirates because they are a popular subject with kids, and some adults,” Bybell said. “I also decided that my activity would be a fun treasure hunt.”

This will be Bybell’s 10th year with the Renaissance Fair.

“I play a different persona each year,” Bybell said. “I’ve been a pirate before, but they weren’t as popular as they are now. I’ve also never done a treasure hunt. It makes kids sit and think, and they still have fun.”

The treasure hunt will be held from 1-3 p.m. at the Renaissance Fair this Saturday and Sunday at Moscow’s East City Park.

Back to the top.