Kids find olden days 'lots of work'

July 11, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS


Several children took a trip back in time Saturday, leaving behind modern-day luxuries for living history lectures and demonstrations at Sharpsburg's first Colonial Kids Camp.

About 70 kids, some dressed in period costumes, attended six living history workshops at Ferry Hill Plantation, which is on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River off Md. 34 south of Sharpsburg.

The worshops were conducted by some of the area's leading colonial historians and re-enactors. Fabric weaving, fur trading, blacksmithing, colonial life with American Indians and life in a Revolutionary War camp were among the topics explored.


Several girls from Keedysville Girl Scout Troop 196 said the camp gave them a glimpse of what life was like for girls their age in the 1700s.

"We have a really easy life," said Tessa Robillard, 11, of Boonsboro. "They cooked everything by hand. Today, we're so high tech."

"There was no Wal-Mart or anything, and it was lots of work," said Sarah Hull, 11, of Keedysville, who also said she's considering becoming a historian one day.

Overall, several of the girls said the experience increased their awareness and appreciation of their ancestors. They said the camp left them more grateful for conveniences they take for granted.

Maryland Company Wayne's Light Infantry, a group of professional colonial re-enactors, presented live demonstrations on the struggles of life in a Revolutionary War camp. The kids got to wander through the re-enactors' tents, take a close look at a black kettle pot used for cooking and pretend to be soldiers.

The war camp demonstration opened with children signing up to join the militia to fight the British.

"They're paid for joining the militia, then they head off to drill, where they practice with wooden muskets," colonial re-enactor Lynn Dicarlo said.

"War is a gentleman's sport. You have to know the rules," re-enactor Gary Baker said as camp militia members stood at attention holding wooden replica muskets.

Kailee Klipp, 11, of Frederick, Md., said the camp was a great learning experience that started with putting her colonial dress outfit together.

"We went to a thrift store to buy my brother's clothes," she said. "And I borrowed my apron and leather lace-up shoes from a friend."

This year's camp was sponsored by the Sharpsburg Historical Society and the Town of Sharpsburg, event organizer Jennifer Silbert said.

The camp was planned in collaboration with C&O Canal National Historical Park.

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