The Naranjo Museum of Natural History’s Ancient Artifacts camp is allowing students to get an inside scoop into cultures like ancient Egypt.

On Wednesday afternoon, the students carved their names in Egytian hieroglyphics onto a clay cartouche and decorated it with beads.

“Each day we have a different subject and different crafts,” 10-year-old Michael Campbell said. “Monday was cavemen and today is ancient Egypt.”

Michael said he loved creating cave paintings and paper mache axes and hatchets this week.

“It’s very fun and interesting to learn and get to do what they did,” he said.

Nine-year-olds Kya Poage and Bella Meaux agreed with Michael. Kya said she’s always been interested in ancient Egypt, and she hopes to get to go on an archeological dig one day.

“I kinda feel like this is really ancient and real,” Bella said.

The Egyptians were smart, Bella said. They didn’t want animals to disturb their dead, so they put their dead in pyramids for protection.

“Cavemen were really cool, and I was like so surprised they lived with dinosaurs,” she said. “But I would not eat raw meat — only cooked meat.”

When asked if she would want a dinosaur as a pet if she were a cavewoman, Bella responded with a resounding, “Heck yeah!” and the protoceratops was her first choice because “it’s not that big, depending on its size and its diet. It’s an herbivore.”

Using hands-on activities increases the likelihood that the campers will remember the lessons, museum manager Veronica Amoe said.

“The hieroglyphics were a big part in Egyptian culture; it was their written language,” Amoe said. “It’s fun because we try to relate it to emojis.”

The activities focus on cultures that are represented in the museum, and after the campers finished their cartouches, museum owner Neal Naranjo took the students around to see the artifacts displayed at the museum.

Two camps still have limited spots open this summer. Dinosaur week during July 17-19 and space camp during Aug. 5-9 for fourth- through seventh-graders have around four spots left. For more information on the camps and registration, visit

Grace Juarez’s email address is