To many children, going to the candy store is the ideal trip.
Judah Tyreman, 13, is just as happy in the University of Saskatchewan rock vault.
“This is a geologist’s candy store,” he said.
Tyreman was invited to the geology building Thursday after his independent rock museum was broken into earlier in March.
Between $6,000 and $8,000-worth of rare rocks and minerals were stolen in the smash-and-grab.
Geology professor Kevin Anstell wanted to help Tyreman restore the museum, so he gave the boy and his family time to pick rocks from the university vault to take home.
“Once I heard on the news about the break in, I decided it was obvious the department would want to help him re-stock,” Anstell said.
Tyreman and his sisters were told to pick any rock specimens they liked. The three children searched through hundreds of shelves, selecting a variety of fossils and gems to bring back to their Radisson home.
“It’s quite amazing, there’s so many pieces,” Tyreman said. “I’m so honoured.”
Anstell said many of the rocks in the vault had been sitting in the basement of the geology building since it was constructed in 1986, and he was just as surprised by some of Tyreman’s finds.
He noted the teen’s knowledge of the field was impressive.
“I was amazed by his knowledge. He could identify minerals very, very quickly,” the professor said.
“He would put many of our students to shame.”
Looking to the future, Anstell said he hopes to convince Tyreman to attend the U of S geology program when he’s ready.
However, the boy is focusing on his own short-term plans for his Radisson rock museum.
The family is contemplating an expansion of the small tourist attraction, including a 19th-century mine theme in the basement.