Scavenger hunt recognizes Goessel museum’s 45 years
Visitors this year to the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum in Goessel have the opportunity to buy “passports” with which to explore the museum and find items from Russia.
The museum is celebrating its 45th anniversary.
Director Fern Bartel created the 5½ x 4¾-inch passports, working to make them look as authentic as possible.
“I hope I don’t get in trouble with the government,” she said. “Each Russian passport contains a photo, a sample of a fact page, and 12 pictures with brief descriptions of items located in the more than 30 numbered showcases in the museum.
After a visitor finds the item, he or she writes the number on the photo of the showcase in which it was found. When the hunt is completed, Bartel stamps the back of the passport with a special stamp, and the visitor can take it home as a souvenir.
Bartel said she originally got the idea as something for Kansas Day. However, she was having so much fun making the passports that she decided to extend the scavenger hunt to the whole year.
Items identified in the passports include fishhooks, a basket of toasted Zweibach, china cups, pitchers, blankets, and Kroger clocks.
Bartel acknowledged that there are too many items to study all of them in one tour.
“So many times people come in and don’t focus on details,” Bartel said. “The passport causes them to focus on specific items, things they may remember after they leave.”
Bartel has written and posted several short stories based on stories she has heard about the Russian Mennonite ancestors.
Museum members will receive a free passport up to four times a year. Others will pay $4 plus regular admission.
Regular hours in March, April, October, and November are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through September. The museum is closed December through February.