Summer student Krysta Thomson’s favourite room in the museum is the saddle and tack room

Summer student Krysta Thomson’s favourite room in the museum is the saddle and tack room

Museum a great learning experience for summer student

Krysta Thomson is joining manager Pat Skloblanuik in welcoming guests to the Museum of the Chilcotin this summer.

Krysta Thomson is joining manager Pat Skloblanuik in welcoming guests to the Museum of the Chilcotin this summer.

Thomson is a Thompson Rivers University student whose hobby is history.

In addition to welcoming and assisting visitors, guiding school tours and other tasks, Thomson is working on updating the museum’s ranching information.

“History is my hobby, and what better place to expand my passion than as the summer student for the museum,” Thomson says. “Throughout my recent travelling I have discovered some of the many histories of countries such as Scotland, Greece, and Finland but these have only brought to my attention how little I know about my own hometown, Williams Lake.

“Working for the museum is giving me the opportunity to learn about where I live and where I come from so that I can share my new found knowledge with others both from the city and internationally.”

Her favourite exhibit at the museum is the saddle and tack room.

“I just love the smell of it,” says Thomson who has done some English and western riding in her life.

Part of her job this summer will be to clean the saddles and chaps to preserve the leather but she is also in the process of researching, reviewing, updating and redrafting the big ranch browsers at the entrance to the museum to make them easier for visitors to follow.

The task seems daunting since the research involves reading files provided by families, books on ranching that are available at the museum as well as newspaper articles.

Thomson was born in the Yukon and was raised in Williams Lake from the age of three and always took history courses for her electives at university but is adding even more to her education working at the museum this summer.

“I didn’t know a quarter of what I know now about Williams Lake history,” Thomson says. “It is really fascinating.”

Part of her job is also to share information about the museum and area history with visitors.

“I look forward to the many interesting conversations I am bound to have with guests and board members who drop by the museum throughout the summer,” Thomson says.

Thomson has a degree in political science from the University of Northern British Columbia. After earning her degree she took a job with a pharmacy in Calgary which inspired her to take upgrading at TRU in Williams Lake with the goal of attending a pharmacy program in the UK in January.

She lived in Scotland for two years previously and has applied to Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, plus four others in northern England in case she isn’t accepted by her first choice.

“Pharmacy is incredibly intriguing to me,” Thomson says. “You use your brain a lot which is nice. You are continually learning about new products and their effects on the body and helping people, which feels good when you get good results.”

In other museum news society president Sheila Wyse reports that over the past few  months the Friends of the Museum members have volunteered many hours helping to keep the displays in tiptop shape.

“Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped us with cleaning, baking, serving at teas, etc.,” Wyse says in her museum update.

“Your generous donation of your time and energy is a great support to the museum. If you have a few hours a year to offer please join our Friends of the Museum group.

“There are many jobs that need to be done and most only take an hour or two during the year. Stop in to the museum and ask the staff for a form to join the Friends of the Museum. “

She says people can also support the museum by buying a $5 annual membership and purchasing raffle tickets the museum is currently selling on two nights at the 108 Hills Health Ranch plus a dining voucher worth $125.

The museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.