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Laurel Historical Society plans in-person and virtual camps this summer | OLD TOWN

The Laurel Historical Society is not taking a break for the summer. Instead, the Old Town group is redoubling its efforts to preserve Laurel’s rich history and educate the community about it.

Another round of historic Laurel walking tours, which the society launched earlier this year to great success, is planned for June and July.

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The first tour is scheduled for Saturday and focuses on lower Main Street, Laurel’s Civil War history, and the development of the area into a commercial center. A second tour on June 26 surveys upper Main Street and the city’s factory history. The final summer tour on July 17 spotlights some of Laurel’s most significant homes and buildings and the communities they serve. Among the areas highlighted on the final tour will be the Grove, the historic center of Laurel’s Black community.

All of the walking tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and are about a mile in length. The cost is $5 per person. Space is limited to 15 people and masks and social distancing are required. Participants will receive an email confirmation and additional details following registration. To register, go to laurelhistoricalsociety.org. For more information, email director@laurelhistoricalsociety.org.

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The historical society’s popular summer camps will also return this year in a hybrid format. All three of the camps are free.

The Rube Goldberg Camp is open to rising third to fifth graders and will be held the week of June 21 to 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. daily. Students will learn how to build a simple machine and their connections to 19th-century mill life. Monday’s programming will be online, while programming Tuesday through Friday will be on-site at the Laurel Museum, 817 Main St. Registration is open. Contact info@laurelhistoricalsociety.org for a registration form.

The LHS Archaeology Camp is open to rising fifth to seventh graders and will be held the week of Aug. 2 to 6 from 10 a.m. to noon. daily. Campers will learn about archaeology and Native American life along the Patuxent River. Monday’s programming will be online, while the rest of the week will be on-site at the Laurel Museum. Registration opens Tuesday and can be completed by emailing info@laurelhistoricalsociety.org.

The GSK Science in the Summer Camp is open to rising second to sixth graders and will be held the week of Aug. 9 to 13 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. daily. Campers will learn about engineering and how it relates to water mills. There will be four days of virtual camp and one on-site scavenger hunt. Registration opens June 15 and can be completed by emailing info@laurelhistoricalsociety.org.

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Applications are also open for the historical society’s James B. McCeney Scholarship, which provides $1,000 to students who pursue any degree that focuses on using historical, political or ecological issues to build better communities.

The Laurel Historical Society is looking for students who have developed skills that demonstrate an inquisitive nature and an interest in how the past impacts the present. Applications and a reference are due by June 30. Applications are available online at forms.gle/WYxAy3fAjpFaMBYK7. Questions can be emailed to info@laurelhistoricalsociety.org.

The scholarship is named in memory of McCeney, a longtime Laurel Historical Society supporter who served at different times as the group’s chair, president and treasurer. He died in 2016. The funds for the scholarship are raised through the annual McCeney March held every fall.

Contact Old Town columnist Mary Sullivan at marysullivan84@gmail.com.

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