Eight summer campers recently took a step back in time and spent a week in the 18th century; learning first-hand what life was like in the Champlain Valley for a soldier or sailor of the revolution. Over four days of camp and one overnight the crew immersed themselves in history, learning and experiencing the skills, crafts, and lives of those in the 18th century.
Campers learned about life aboard a gunboat in Benedict Arnold’s fleet for the Battle of Valcour Island including how to fire canons, row a traditional wooden boat, and even how to sleep on a gunboat. They learned how to march with (wooden) muskets just like new recruits would in the army, how to forge iron into useful cooking tools, and then how to use those tools to cook dinner and breakfast over an open fire. We even added freshly caught fish on 18th century style hand-lines to the dinner menu!
We call this type of experience “experimental archaeology,” the practice of becoming familiar with the lives of our predecessors though hands-on learning, making, and experience. Over their week of 18th Century Adventure Camp the group came together as a team to expand their understanding of history in a very personal way.