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Wigwam offers hands-on learning in Ballston Spa

The students crowded inside the wigwam, shaped like an upside down bowl. Walsh lowered the deerskin door flap to keep out the wind, and the kids stood around a tiny fire pit. Bunks line one wall, made of cattail reeds that didn't budge when adults plopped down on them, with bear and beaver skins as blankets.

"I've taken road kill and beavers removed from dams, and I've eaten everything I've used here," said Walsh. "There was no wool from sheep or cotton back then, so they used skins to make leather and wore them all the time."

Brookside's director Joy Houle said the wigwam is another example of how the learning center brings history to life.

"Children love to learn hands-on," said Houle. "Who wouldn't love to go inside a wigwam rather than just reading about it and seeing pictures in a book?"

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