As we head into the final weeks of summer, the campers of the Osceola County Historical Society Summer Camp enjoyed diving head first into history with Civil War Adventure Week. During this third week of camp the campers prepared for being back in the classroom by learning all they could about this important time in history. Here are six things the kids did at camp…
Learned about the causes and effects of the Civil War. The economies of the North and the South contributed to the causes and the eventual outcome of the Civil War. Most Northerners did not support slave labor while some Northerners called themselves abolitionists and worked to end slavery. Most of the factories were located in the north and free citizens were paid to work in these factories. On the other hand, life in the South was quite different. While most Southerners did not own slaves many Southerners supported the practice of slavery. Many relied on slavery for social, economic and political reasons. While there was farming throughout the country, the large plantation farms were in the South, and slaves worked on these plantations. Campers learned about the different events leading up to the Civil War which sparked a divide in the nation and started the “bloodiest war in United States history”.
Gained a better understanding of the 16th President. Campers learned about the pivotal role Abraham Lincoln played in the Civil War. Lincoln won the 1860 election and was inaugurated as president in March of 1861. The southern states did not want Lincoln to be president because they did not agree with his policies. Before he was officially in office, they began to secede (leave the country). The first state to leave was South Carolina, but soon six more states followed and together they formed a new country called the Confederacy. This all happened after Lincoln won the election, but before he took the oath of office. Campers learned that Lincoln is most famous for leading the country during the American Civil War. His leadership in the North helped the country to remain strong and defeat the South, keeping the country united. He also pushed for the freedom of all slaves throughout the nation. Campers got in touch with their creative sides to make Abraham Lincoln masks in honor of this influential president.
Kept Civil War journals. There were many people directly affected by the Civil War. During camp, the children had a chance to learn more about slavery, the Underground Railroad and life as a soldier. Campers imagined themselves as someone living during this time period to write their own personal journals. They chose between being a slave in the South, a freed slave in the North, a Civil War soldier or Abraham Lincoln. Each point of view had vastly different concerns and desires. By putting themselves in the shoes of various figures, campers gained a better understanding of what life was like during this time period.
Participated in a Civil War battle reenactment. Both the armies of the North and South had strict chains of command, from generals to privates. It was important for soldiers and officers to respect this chain of command, especially during battle. They also had different orders to follow, for instance “shoulder arms” and “march”. Our campers got a small taste of what life was like for a Civil War soldier during our battle reenactments. We split up into two teams, elected generals and lieutenants and learned all the basic commands. Both sides bravely followed their generals into battle and valiantly fought beside their fellow countrymen and countrywomen.
Visited the Orlando Science Center. Our field trip for the week didn’t really match up with our theme but this was our first time visiting the Orlando Science Center and we are so happy we did! First, campers explored DinoDigs where they met the ancient rulers of our planet— dinosaurs and prehistoric sea creatures. We also uncovered fossils and examined fossilized eggs. We then moved on to a camper favorite, Science Park. Here, interactive exhibits let campers explore such concepts as lights and lasers, sound and waves, electricity and magnetism, fundamental forces and simulation. Of course, the 70ft derby track was quite popular, too. After that, we got to watch a very special show called “Kaboom”, where we learned how different elements combine to create explosive results. To end the day, we visited the CineDome to learn about an awe-inspiring tale of extraordinary insect endurance and human perseverance.
Got soaked during water day. Just like every other week of camp, we celebrated summer in true Florida fashion with a “Water Day”. The highlight of the day was canoeing on historic Shingle Creek. Shingle Creek was once home to many of the first peoples of Osceola County, including Native Americans and pioneers. During canoeing, campers have a chance to see what old Florida was really like. Cypress trees line the creek and animals such as egrets, turtles, ospreys, and more can be glimpsed by sharp-eyed campers. The day continued with water games including a water balloon toss and wet t-shirt relay.
With just a few weeks of summer left before the first day of school, we’ve got one last summer camp week left for your kids to come out and have some fun with history. Our final week is themed History’s Mysteries and has so much fun in store! Now that you've read our summer camp recap, you can find out more and register for this last week that starts Monday, August 4th!