School Age Programs

When you bring your class, camp, scout troop or youth group to the Washburn Norlands Living History Center, volunteer and staff interpreters lead your students in an educational and historical experience as if it were the 19th century.  The Norlands is the home of the Washburn family estate. It is a place that bears witness to the humble beginnings of this remarkable Livermore family who became one of America’s great political dynasties.  Today, the Norlands is a living museum and working farmstead operating as it did in the 1800s.

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Our educational school-age program is designed for history lovers of all ages. Our program takes place throughout the estate and in the historic buildings connected to the learning experiences of the program. Each session is within the capacity of today’s learners and they gain an understanding of what life was like in this crossroads neighborhood of Livermore, Maine. Small groups participate in a variety of activities throughout the buildings on the Washburn Norlands campus.

The Norlands Sampler program gives groups hands-on experience with some of the activities children from the 1870s would have had in rural Maine.  Through those activities students learn how people of the past lived from day to day, as well as the values learned through those activities. Costumed interpretive staff use hands-on activities and authentic objects in this program. 

Learning sessions in a Norlands Sampler range from lessons in the one-room schoolhouse, listening to the interactive story of the remarkable Washburn family, doing farm chores in the kitchen and the barn. It may also be possible for students to play games of long ago as they work on their school lessons or complete their farm chores. 

During a half-day Norlands Sampler your group may:

Go to School & learn the way “scholars” did in 1870, through recitation and with chalk & ink pens, & play word games of the time period; 

Help out in the Farmer’s Cottage Kitchen or Mr. Washburn’s Kitchen to do the washing, piecing a quilt square, bring in firewood for the cook-stove, carry water from the outside pump, & investigate some of the “tools of the trade” used for making and preparing food;

Work on the Farm – gather eggs, tend to Norlands’ goats, or plant, weed, hoe, gather, & tend the garden.

Hear the story of how Norlands was built by the remarkable Washburn family by touring their beautiful summer home and/or library.  

A Norlands Sample  is tailored to accommodate the weather, seasonal activities, available staff, the age of the students and any time constraints of the group. 

Our staff has been trained in group management and takes the safety of all guests as our first priority.


Important Information For Planning a Field Trip to the Norlands

Our half-day educational learning experience is ideal for elementary through Jr. High School students, homeschoolers, boys and girls scouts, and other youth groups. We can accommodate groups on the weekend.

  • $12 per student / adults are free
  • Pre-registration is required with a deposit of 50%
  • Pre-visit materials will be sent via email before your scheduled visit

A Norlands Sampler easily becomes a hands-on experience as the groups have fewer participants. Additionally, students and teachers have an opportunity to see more of the Norlands as they rotate and travel through the assigned sessions. Start and end times are flexible, however, it’s best to plan for 3 – 4 hours. 

The group leader and/or teacher is asked to divide the students into smaller groups with one adult in each group. A schedule is provided when you arrive on site. The Norlands interpreter expects to lead the activities and to be in charge of the discipline but the visiting group leader/teacher will handle any problems that might arise.


  •       The start and end times for A Norlands Sampler Program can vary with the needs of your group.  
  •       Outside learning experiences are common at Norlands, please have children dressed weather appropriately & with sturdy foot gear.
  •       Your group should plan to eat a self-provided lunch between the activities according to a schedule that will be provided when you arrive. Students can eat outside on picnic tables. In case of inclement weather, indoor spaces for eating will be made available.

Travel Assistance:  

Do you want to include a field trip to the Norlands in your curriculum but are having difficulty paying? Travel Stipends are available and a percentage of your program fees will be reduced.

To apply for a travel stipend, please send a letter of request with your  reservation. Describe the need for the funds and your goals for bringing students to the Norlands.

Questions? Contact us at