– Parts of the National Museum of the Marine Corps are "going to the dogs" — and to the kids! The Museum recently installed two new exhibits geared to put smiles on children's faces, and they have been stamped with the paw print of the Museum's mascot, Chesty, the bulldog. Chesty's Dock and Chesty's Corner are the two latest neighborhoods at NMMC, and their purpose is to make the Marine Corps story more interactive for our youngest visitors.
"Since the Museum opened in 2006, we've been watching the number of family visitors with small children grow," said Museum Director Lin Ezell. "It quickly became clear that this Museum is not for adults only! We saw the need to provide very special places for our youngest visitors. Chesty's Dock and Chesty's Corner invite young children to make the Museum their own."
The exhibits allow children to get some hands-on experience in Chesty's world. They can learn to tie lines to a ship, try on uniforms, read his books, create a rubbing, and learn about Colonial life.
The kids are already "lapping up" the fun. Tommy Cissel, 13, and his 10-year-old sister Maggie enjoyed snooping around Chesty's Dock. "I like the ropes," Maggie said, "but then Tommy tied my hands up." Brothers can be that way sometimes. "I like Chesty's Dock because you can touch things and you're not reading a sign all the time," Tommy said.
The exhibits offer a convenience to parents, as well. "It's a great addition because I can bring my whole family and some friends along with me," said Sgt Scott Howard of The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico. "My wife can take the kids to Chesty's while I show my friends other parts of the Museum."
NMMC features a "Family Day" one Saturday afternoon each month, which is of special interest to youngsters, but, with the addition of Chesty's Dock and Chesty's Corner, there is an opportunity to fetch the smiles and laughter of little ones every day.
These new exhibits were made possible through the generous support of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
The National Museum of the Marine Corps is located at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Va., and is open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm every day except Christmas.