There are a handful of historical reenactment sites around Kansas City and as a fanatic about local history I have always enjoyed visiting them. Last year I visited the Mahaffie farm to log a geocache and took Bridget with me to get her out of the house. Quarantine was driving her (and mom) nuts. She immediately fell in love with it even though many activities were closed.
After some prodding I agreed to return and took Phaedra and Ana this time. We chose a better time and found the animals and staff on full display. All 3 girls loved it and spent a large portion of the time in the basement with the potbellied stove learning about 19th century cooking. While there they pitched their Youth Program to Phaedra who instantly said yes.
At her request I called to get the details only to discover that due to Covid they wouldn’t be taking on any new Youth Friends but they were allowing family volunteers. They boys were skeptical but the girls were all excited so I went ahead and signed us up. The review process was lengthy and surprisingly invasive with a full background check for each of us. Finally we made it through and were invited to the orientation event.
Unfortunately the farm is not only 45 minutes away in Olathe but the orientation is on a night where the kids are at their moms house. So we drove 45 minutes to Raymore, then 35 minutes to Olathe and back making it more than 2 and a half hours driving round trip.
I picked the kids up just before 6, stopped into Subway to find the slowest duo of fast-food workers ever. As such we had to scarf down our food and bee line it across town to get there on time. To my surprise there weren’t very many other people, a single lady and a mother/daughter duo as such the 6 of us rolling in got a lot of attention.
I recognized the coordinator Katie from the videos who walked up and said, “Steve, right?” “Dave, actually” She quickly recovered, and we sat down and began filling out the paperwork. As three of my kids are minors I got to fill everything out 4 times while Ana and Dave only had to worry about themselves. Her presentation was a high level overview of the interpretive center and farm with video examples and the occasional Q& A session that took about an hour.
Following that we got a tour of the upstairs library, the museum area and the gift shop before heading out to the farm. As most of the family had been here before we were familiar with the layout of the grounds but one of the interpreters (Michael) showed us some of the behind the scene areas only accessible by staff. They took measurements of the girls for dresses and asked the rest of us to return to be fitted for clothes. Katie then turned to us and thanked the "Stevenson" family for coming in. I corrected her again but as I walked away Dave said to me, "wait... does that mean she thought your name was Steve Stevenson?"
We made the drive back to Raymore, then Gladstone chatting about what appealed to us and what we’d prefer not to do. Everyone seemed to think I would love it since it involved talking about History but the truth of the matter is I am along for the family on this one. I’d rather be geocaching personally. 😊