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Friday, June 20

Ballad of the Green Mountain Boys (folk song)

Take a step back in time at Fort Ticonderoga.  During the American Revolution, it was the scene of America's first major victory, and the northern stronghold protecting New York and New England from British invasion from Canada.  It also played a role in the French & Indian War. 
 

Fort Ticonderoga unit :
I almost titled this "The Long & Winding Road," since you take a four-hour series of winding, two-lane backroads through the Adirondack Mountains to reach the fort.  It was a beautiful day, and a nice drive.  A couple of recommendations though : don't try to read in the car, and there are no bathrooms for very long stretches.  Once you arrive, though, it's worth the ride.
Built on Lake Champlain, the fort was originally controlled by the French, and when the British seized it during the French & Indian War, they also took control of the weaponry.  These cannons have intricate scrollwork that belie their French heritage.  
A soldier guided us around the fort, explaining everyday fort life for both soldiers and officers.  I had the chance to hang out with good ol' Ethan Allen (the subject of our current book), and then several soldiers demonstrated how to load and fire the muskets in formation. 
  
 
Back inside the fortress walls, we learned how to create scrollwork on a powder horn, and the boys had a chance to practice those Cub Scout knots again.  We watched the cobbler making shoes by hand from leather hides, and saw the tailor cutting out new uniform pieces.  Every 'costume' worn by employees at the fort is made in-house, using raw materials and using the original methods.  How neat is that?
The boys are convinced that they need Revolutionary War costumes now, and have already begun making an itemized list of every piece they will need to create them.  Maybe we'll create a new course once we return home - Costume Design & Sewing. It'll be part of home economics.
Back outside for a walk before getting back in the car, we caught the boys.......being boys.  Yes, they are pretending to shoot each other out of the cannon.

It's always nice to be able to bring history alive.  We have been reading the We Were There book for a couple of days, but now we can visualize it.  This trip, our goal is to bring sites from the Revolutionary War to life for the kids.
Back on the road.....our next stop will be somewhere in Vermont!
Don't want to make your own costume?  Here are two affordable options, available at Amazon.
 
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