32 West Main Street #5
Waynesboro, PA 17268
Office: 717-749-5767 (Call Office number first!)
Gmail phone: 717-925-0585

Local Resources

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MDHSA is always looking for community resources that would benefit homeschooling families in the Franklin County, PA, Washington County, MD, and surrounding area. If you know of a community resource that has benefited your family, chances are it will benefit another. Please email the MDHSA office with information on those valuable resources so it can be added to this list.

Arts and Crafts | Cultural Programs | Environmental Programs | Historical Activities
Field Trip Ideas | Businesses | Sports and Recreation | Summer Programs | Teen Activities

Arts and Crafts

A.C. Moore – Hagerstown, MD  www.acmoore.com

 Birthday Club for children up to age 12; simply fill out a card at the register with your child’s name and address, and every year they send them a $5 gift certificate to spend at the store for their birthday.Kids can make a “make and take” craft on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m.. Children are allowed to make one fun craft free of charge. Crafts change weekly.   

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Cultural Programs

Chambersburg Council for the Arts – – Chambersburg, PA  www.councilforthearts.net

 Cumberland Valley School of Music (CVSM) – Chambersburg, PA  www.cvsmusic.org

 The school offers many choices of lessons in instrumentals, vocals and drama. Call 261-1220 for a brochure.

Hagerstown Community College – Hagerstown, MD

Call 264-6883 for a free bi-monthly newsletter that contains the details on the multitude of events happening locally.

The Maryland Theatre – Hagerstown, MD  http://www.mdtheatre.org/

The Maryland Theatrewas built in 1915, partially destroyed by fire in 1974 and reopened in 1978. The marvelous acoustics are only surpassed by the wonderful ambiance of The Theatre. The Theatre provides comfortable seating for 1325 at performances of country artists, comedians, orchestra concerts, children’s shows, musicians, recitals, stage shows, and others. Over 81,000 patrons, including more than twelve thousand children, attended performances here in 2001.

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts


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Environmental Programs

Fountain Rock Park and Nature Center

Kings Gap Environmental Learning Center  http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/kingsgap/index.htm

Sitting astride South Mountain, Kings Gap offers a panoramic view of the Cumberland Valley. Sixteen miles of hiking trails interconnect three main areas and are open year-round. Kings Gap offers environmental education programs from the pre-school environmental awareness program to environmental problem solving programs.- City Park, Hagerstown, MD

  Strawberry Hill Nature Center – Fairfield, PA  www.strawberryhill.org/

Offers trails and grounds that are open dawn to dusk, daily and year round free of charge. Nature Center hours are Tuesday— Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A self-guided trail map is available at the center and groups should call ahead to ensure adequate picnic facilities or to rent the picnic pavilion. Check their web site for a list of children’s nature programs available throughout the year ($2 each)

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Historical Activities

The State Museum of Pennsylvania – Harrisburg, PA  www.statemuseumpa.org

Located in Harrisburg, the State Museum hosts a Public Archaeology program and takes groups of school students on a 2-hour visit to City Island to observe archaeologists and learn about their record-keeping and lab procedures. Experimental archaeology is also a part of this program, where kids learn how Native Americans built structures and obtained food. To sign up for the class, call (717) 772-6997. For more information on the training program, call (717) 772-0925.

Living History Encampment – Gettysburg, PA

National Civil War Wax Museum, 297 Steinwehr Ave. Life during the Civil War. Hands-on experience. Free. 717-334-6245

Spruce Forest Artisan Village – Grantsville, MD  www.spruceforest.org/

Village features working artisans inside authentic and historic log cabins, Bear Hill School and plankhouses. Buildings date back to pre-Revolutionary War era. Open year round, Mon – Sat., 10-5. Various festivals and music concerts throughout the year.

Fort Frederick State Park – Off I-70 between Hancock & Hagerstown

A massive stone fort built in 1756 as a defese during the Frence & Indian War. Reenactments the last full weekends of June, July, August and September. Admission fee on the weekends of the military pageants.

Rural Heritage Museum – Sharpsburg, MD  http://www.ruralheritagemuseum.org/

Antique farm equipment, country store, 19th century post office, Conestoga wagon, Victorian era rooms, and much more. Open 1-4 pm Sat & Sun. April thru October. Free. 240-420-1712
7313 Sharpsburg Pike, 7 miles South of Hagerstown at Washington Co. Ag Center

Antietam National Battlefield – Sharpsburg, MD  https://www.nps.gov/anti/index.htm

Rose Hill Manor Park – Frederick, MD  http://recreater.com/404/Rose-Hill-Manor-Park-Museums

This is a historic manor and outbuildings with a strong emphasis on interpreting for children. There is a two hour educational tour with hands-on museum exhibits. The standard tour of the farm is led by costumed interpreters, which may be joined at any point in the circular route.

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine – Frederick, MD  www.civilwarmed.org

Dedicated to telling the medical story of the Civil War, the aftermath of battle, the care & comfort of the wounded, the caregivers, & the medical innovations of the period. Newly designed exhibits, educational tours, special events, annual conferences, memberships, and museum store.

Renfrew Museum and Park – Waynesboro, PA  http://www.renfrewmuseum.org/ 

This 107-acre park along the Antietam Creek features a Pennsylvania-German farmstead, an extensive collection of John Bell Pottery, and Nicodemus collection of American decorative arts. Admission.

The Renfrew Institute – Waynesboro, PA  http://renfrewinstitute.org/  

Per their website, “For school-aged children, Renfrew Institute provides a full range of environmental and cultural education within a beautiful setting. Our hands-on, experiential learning programs create meaningful encounters with nature and with history. Using the natural park areas and historic buildings on the property, our professional instructors ensure authentic learning and long-standing memories for students.”

Gettysburg National Military Park – Gettysburg, PA  www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm

Gettysburg has just too much to offer! Stop at the Visitors Center and ask for details on their Junior Ranger program. After completing three park centered activities you can earn a special Junior Ranger Badge.

Old Bedford Village – Bedford, PA  www.oldbedfordvillage.com/

Our living history village brings the past into the present. Old Bedford Village offers a rich variety of educational and entertainment activities. Visitors of all ages will enjoy our military and civilian re-enactments, colonial crafts, exhibits and instructions, festivals, murder/mystery evenings, old fashioned Christmas celebrations and more!

Landis Valley Museum – Lancaster, PA  http://www.landisvalleymuseum.org/

Landis Valley Museum, a Pennsylvania German living history village, invites you to visit a place where the present meets the past. The museum contains a diverse collection of artifacts and historic buildings. It tells a simple story with a common theme. We call it Pennsylvania German Life – the historical identity of the 18th and 19th century German population in Pennsylvania and Lancaster County.

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Field Trip Ideas

Are We There Yet? — The Ultimate Field Trip Resource  www.fieldtrip.com

This is a must see site if you are planning a field trip! It features museums, nature centers, historic sites, farms, zoos, aquariums and many other attractions for families and groups in the Northern Maryland and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania areas.

Catoctin Mountain Park/Cunningham Falls – Catoctin, MD  www.nps.gov/cato/

 Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo – Thurmont, MD  www.cwpzoo.com

Wonderful adventures and exciting new animal friends await you in this 30 acre park. Up-close exhibits and personal information make you feel like one of the family.

Crystal Grottoes Caverns – on Md Rt. 34 near Boonsboro, MD   http://www.crystalgrottoescaverns.com/

Only caverns open to the public in the entire state of MD.  301-432-6336

 Explore and More – Gettysburg, PA  www.exploreandmore.com

Hands-on museum for children between the ages of 3 and 8

Hershey’s Chocolate World – Hershey Park, PA  www.hersheypa.com

Indulge your senses at Hershey’s Chocolate World, the official visitor’s center of Hershey Foods Corporation. Take a free chocolate-making tour ride, watch the new Hershey’s Really Big 3-D show or take an educational tour of Hershey, PA on the Hershey Trolley Works.

Land of Little Horses – Gettysburg, PA  www.landoflittlehorses.com

Famous for our performing Falabella Miniature horses, our park has much to offer the animal lover of ANY age. We are dedicated to promotion and educating the public about alternative and exotic farm animals. Enjoy an up-close and touchable experience during our hands-on exhibits and demonstrations.

Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum – Hagerstown, MD   www.trainweb.org/roundhouse/hrm

1-5 pm, 300 S. Burhans Blvd. Train displays, museum artifacts. #3/adults, $.50/children. 301-739-4655

 Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum – Winchester, VA www.discoverymuseum.net

Hands-on children’s museum

The State Museum of Pennsylvania – Harrisburg, PA  www.statemuseumpa.org/

The State Museum is a comprehensive professional museum which was established in 1905 to collect and preserve artifacts which illustrate the Commonwealth’s history and to interpret our heritage through exhibits and programs. Located across from the capital building which is also open for tours. Admission is FREE

The Curiosity Corner – Harrisburg, PA  www.statemuseumpa.org/

A place where children of all ages come to have fun! Children can see, touch, and use reproduction objects from Pennsylvania’s past, from a dentist’s extractor to a Native American drill. Children can dress up in an Indian Buckskin or a Victorian Era dress, play in the Victorian parlor or the Colonial Kitchen, discover the world of rocks and minerals, test their dinosaur knowledge and explore special activity boxes. For more information about the Curiosity Corner call (717) 787-5384.

The fee for the Curiosity Corner is $3.00 for children 3 and older. Children 2 and under are free. Friends of the State Museum are free.
Hours: Wed – Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday thru Friday 11:00 am – 2 pm.
Saturday and Sunday 1:00 pm. – 4:00 pm.
On Saturdays from 10:00 – 12:00 Curiosity Corner will be available for birthday parties. For group reservations call (717) 772-6997.

Whitaker Center – Harrisburg, PA  www.whitakercenter.org

The Whitaker Center welcomes its guests to a unique educational and entertainment experience! Here you will find The IMAX® Theater, The Harsco Science Center, and The Sunoco Performance Theater.

Children’s Museum of Lancaster – Lancaster, PA  www.handsonhouse.org

Also known as Hands-On House, has lots of neat things that kids can touch. In fact that’s the whole point! Featuring interactive exhibits for children ages 2 to 10, this great museum encourages kids to learn by playing. And they’ll learn things they can really use in the future.

Washington County Planetarium – Hagerstown, MD  www.ohwy.com/md/w/wascoupl.htm

Astronomy related programs are presented to the general public. School groups attend by reservation. The facility is closed during the summer months. The planetarium is located at the Washington County Board of Education Building, off Frederick Street near Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Maryland.
(310)766-2898. Contact: Rod Martin

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Books – Used

Booksavers    1325 B Pennsylvania Avenue   Hagerstown, MD   http://www.booksavers.org

A warehouse of used books including teacher’s manuals, student texts, Saxon math, Teacher’s Kits and children’s library books. You may go online and order for delivery of pick up at the store if you live locally. Great store for homeschoolers! call 301-665-1525

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Sports and Recreation

Camp Joy El – Greencastle, PA    http://www.joyel.org/

Camp Joy El is a Christian camping and conference facility located near Greencastle, PA. This nondenominational is available for use year round by groups of all ages. In addition to holding their own programmed summer camps and retreats for children and youth, they also hold Spring and Fall Home School Retreats designed especially for home schooled children and their families. Camp Joy El can be contacted at 717-369-4539 or through their Website at www.joyel.org.

Cove Valley Christian Youth Camp     www.covevalleycamp.com

At Cove Valley Christian Youth Camp, our mission is to provide a place and the opportunity for Christian teaching and fellowship along with wholesome and guided recreation in a spiritual atmosphere without discrimination of age or race.

Antietam Recreation – Hagerstown, MD  http://www.antietamrecreation.com/

Antietam Recreation is a family owned and operated facility designed to provide exciting, active, and educational fun in a Christian atmosphere.

YMCA Homeschool Gym and Swim


Homeschool Students Athletes in NCCA  http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/eligibility-center

Homeschooled student-athletes who attend an NCAA Division I or Division II institution can have their eligibility status determined by having the NCAA college or university they addend submit an initial-eligibility waiver application to the NCAA national office. The waiver application must include the following items:

Homeschool transcript; ACT/SAT score; evidence of outside assessment, if available (tutors, tests graded by an outside agency); evidence that homeschooling was conducted in accordance with applicable state laws; detailed description of homeschool teaching environment (e.g., name of instructor(s), methods of instruction, number of hours of instruction per day); lists of titles of all textbooks for all homeschool courses; copies of the table of contents for textbooks utilized in core courses; samples of work completed (tests, papers) by the student; and initial eligibility Certification Report from NCAA (only if student has attended some traditional schooling).
The application must be sent to the NCAA national office. A decision is given within 3 weeks. For more info, call317-917-622, or visit www.ncaa.org

Hagerstown Sports and Ice Arena  www.hagerstownice.org

Every Tuesday from 2 – 3:50 p.m. for $3.50.
Anyone can skate during the homeschool skate however, only homeschoolers will be allowed the discount. – Chambersburg, PA Each Monday, starting in September, the gym will be available to be used from 1-3 P.M. and the pool for swimming from 2-3 P.M. This is for use of any homeschoolers. There will not be instructors holding classes. There is no registration. Come any week that it suits your family. The cost is $2 per student in grades 1-8. This is free if you are a member of the YMCA.Walkersville, MD

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Summer Programs

Franklin County Library System Summer Reading Program   http://www.fclspa.org/

Check your local library schedule for fun activities planned this summer.

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Teen Activities

Worldview Academy Leadership Camp – Center Valley, PA  www.worldview.org

This is a leadership camp that is designed to train Christian Leaders of tomorrow. Teens participate in a variety of workshops including topics on worldviews, servant leadership, and apologetics and Evangelism.

TeenPact – Harrisburg, PA  www.teenpact.com

TeenPact ‘s goal is to train today’s youth to passionately and effectively impact government and culture for Christ. It is a one week class during your state’s legislative session where teens are able to interact with legislators and see how our government works close up.

MDHSA does not discriminate against families on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.

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