At first I was volunteering and doing some fundraising, really supporting the efforts to get the word out about the museum. First I was a liaison, then I was invited to be a member of the board of directors, then later on, I became the executive director. You know like when you dip your toe in the water and you put one toe in, then one foot in, then one leg in, and before you know it you’re already swimming? That’s how my relationship with the museum evolved. We’re swimming at this point.
For a toddler, coming here is the highlight of their day. The moms are looking at us as their kids are crying on their way out and I have to say, “I’m sorry, I got them here, but getting them out is your job (laughs).” But it’s a nice problem. We love that they’ve had such a great time that they don’t want to leave.
The same kid can come every year and look at each exhibit here in a different way. The train table starts as something that kind of props them up and helps them with their gross motor skills when they’re a one or two-year-old. By the time they’re four, they’re the engineer and they approach it in a different way. The children’s museum puts a heavy emphasis on imagination, and that’s so important. Sometimes we forget about the importance of play.
I was talking with some people at a meeting who were from the Mid Cape and Lower Cape, and they said, “Wow, we really need a children’s museum in our area.” Why? People kind of stick their compass on the map and go out in a 10-mile radius and consider that their zone. But Mashpee is a destination. Make a day of it and come see what we have to offer.
A rainy day means revenue for us. We track the weather like kids track Santa on NORAD (laughs). We love the sound of children: it means we’re successful. It means that people have found the Cape Cod Children’s Museum.