When coordinators at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History asked for suggestions of U.S. National Parks to present for this summer's History Camp, I didn't realize I would have as much influence on the lineup. I will present a different national park each week for six sessions in July and August. I realized that I knew some of the parks quite well.
Another park is one which may not be thought of as being in the national park system. It is one that I know quite well because I lived through the event that inspired it. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is one that tells the same story that I shared with my fourth graders and other classes of fourth graders for the 27 years since a terrorist bombing in 1995. Being able to be at the memorial for one of the sessions would be a dream.
A third park is one a little farther away, but it is one I feel I feel close to. Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is the largest known cave system in the world. I've been operating my own "cave" as a classroom transformation for 27 years, as well, and sharing other caves with their unique ecosystems. Our classes have been looking at caves in New Mexico and, of course, here at home in the "Cave State", but we've also admired, from afar, Mammoth.
Happily, these three parks, plus Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, are confirmed participants in the summer program.