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Museum educator’s departure prompts Rockpile to cancel event

Campbell County Rockpile Museum has canceled this year's archaeology fair because it won't have the staffing necessary to run it, Director Robert Henning said this afternoon.

Museum Educator, then assistant, Brittney Elsasser (left) and Museum Director Robert Henning and showcase the virtual reality exhibit in October 2022. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County Rockpile Museum has canceled this year’s archaeology fair because it won’t have the staffing necessary to run it, Director Robert Henning said this afternoon.

The event was scheduled to take place Sept. 16, but Henning doesn’t anticipate being able to fill museum educator Brittney Elsasser’s position until October.

The museum has two museum educator positions. The details for the vacated position were posted Aug. 2 on Campbell County’s website here. The position is open until Sept. 1 or until filled.

Henning said he’s frustrated that the event, which has taken place each September since 2019, has never seen much success. One year, there was horrible weather. The COVID-19 pandemic stifled the event in 2020. Another year saw limited participation from archeologists. Stephen Zacharias resigned from the position in September 2022.

Henning said the museum will reevaluate the event. While the museum holds the event in September to correspond with Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month, it’s possible September’s not the best time of year for the fair.

The 2022 event was billed as a day with interactive experiences that will demonstrate how the work of archaeology shows what life was like in northeast Wyoming before European contact.

County 17 reached out to Elsasser at 5:05 p.m. Aug. 16 for comment on her departure but didn’t immediately hear back.

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site will have an archaeology fair Sept. 9. More details on that event are here.

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