Several weeks ago, we joined up with the Radio Announcer's family to take school on the road. We took an hour drive to a neighboring community to spend the day visiting a historical rendezvous (fur trade camp reenactment). At this particular encampment, folks were dressed in period costumes and living off the land for an entire weekend, using historical tools and reenacting living conditions.
When we arrived, our first stop was a trading circle where we got to see folks bartering without using words. We learned that fur trade camps would have people of different nationalities. Since they did not speak the same language, they had to use other forms of "speech" to make their trades.
Next, we saw the "smithy" making tent pegs.
The children all got a chance to try their hand playing with the jumping jack man.
Then came lunch. I thought I'd insert this picture to mention how handy these 3-compartment Ziplock containers are for packing picnic lunches. Ever since I started using these two or three summers ago, unpacking lunch has gone much smoother. I don't have to slowly dole out food onto paper plates. I just pop off the tops and pass them out. Easy-Peasy! Plus they stack up nicely in our lunch cooler and keep our food from getting squished.
After lunch, we made a quick stop at the jail to lock up the kiddos.
We learned to clean and card wool.
And watched as it was spun into yarn.
A look at making a regional treat came next.
Although we were visiting the rendezvous strictly for the morning, we had to keep in mind that the "actors" were actually living there. Here is a "ma" making a real camp lunch for her real family.
A gentleman was "kind" enough to let us touch a buffalo chip...my older kids were fully aware at what a buffalo chip actually was and "passed" on the chance to touch it.
A replica of a loaded wagon was on display. In addition, the owner had a "play" wagon set to let children have a turn to determine what items to pack for a trip based on weight and size. He encouraged the children to write out a log of their choices.
I couldn't pass up the chance to grind some coffee.
(Notice the full mug at my feet.)
There were a handful of camp games that the children could play including this stick and hoop spinning contest.
We have been to a few of these rendezvous over the years and have always enjoyed the opportunity to see the pages of our history books come to life. The children learn more in the "doing and seeing" than I could ever teach them from a book.
There are reenactment camps all across the country. The following is a listing of groups and organizations who put them together. Be sure to visit their websites to find out about upcoming events in your area.
Historical Weapons Store
Fort Tyler Association