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Saturday, July 5

No More Kings (Schoolhouse Rock)

Today we visited another memorable setting of the Revolutionary War, Valley Forge, the site of the Continental Army's camp over the winter of 1777–1778.  This is where George Washington proved that he pulled no punches as a leader.
We stopped off at the visitor's center for a short movie and introductory lesson to the historical significance of Valley Forge.  One child is into drama, the other into firearms...and they always gravitate to those exhibits first.
After spending an hour at the visitor's center, we got in the car for the driving tour.  There is a narrated bus tour that you can take, but we opted to go the free route.  Along the route, you can park and explore the encampment sites.  Our first stop was the enlisted area, where soldiers slept twelve to a cabin.  Those beds look mighty uncomfortable!  Some of the soldiers took a moment to discuss camp life with the visitors.
Further along the trail, we came to General Washington's headquarters.  This is the original home of the Washington family, and we were told that this is the original banister.  The boys were excited to run their hands along something that George Washington (and millions of others) had touched.  But mom just felt like we needed to wash our hands!
In the home, docents explained the officer's role in camp life, and pointed out the general's office and guest sleeping quarters.  Officers often used their own field cots for guest beds.
After completing the tour, the boys were sworn in as Junior Park Rangers for the National Park Service.  Most of the National Parks have this program, where children can earn badges and patches for learning about the history and science at each park.

Valley Forge unit:
Liberty's Kids : Valley Forge episode
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