Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
Fort Massac Encampment Education Day
METROPOLIS -- Thousands of area students gathered Friday at Fort Massac State Park for a day of hands-on learning.
For the past 12 years Fort Massac has set aside a special day for area students to take in a little history.
"They can walk through and see people living in the era that we're demonstrating," says park superintendent Chris McGinness. He adds, "you can read it in a book all day long and yes that's a good thing but it's nothing like actually living that period."
Around 2,500 students showed up Friday for Education Day during the Fort Massac Encampment. The kids learn about life in the late 1700's and early 1800's.
"I like to be outdoors and I like to learn about all the Indian stuff a long time ago," says Goreville student Hannah Craig.
Students spend the entire day seeing, tasting, smelling and even hearing about life in that time period. That includes French, British, Colonial and other military units, as well as some Native American history.
Participants say they do their best to make sure everything is authentic.
"It just kind of brings it to life. It makes it more real than just reading words out of a book," explains re-enactor Rose Evans.
Re-enactor, Everett Rhine has been participating as an artilleryman since 1986.
"Very few people are aware that artillery men were probably the most educated of any of the non-officer troops up until the Civil War," adds Rhine.
Rhines says he enjoys being able to share information that students won't find in their history books.
"In class you don't learn about some of this stuff. And here you can learn about the Revolutionary War and Native Americans," says Heath Elementary student Landen Jones.
The encampment will be open to the public all weekend long.
Wind: 3 MPH
Humidity: 86 %