Trevor-Wilmot students experience Civil War camp

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Note: Trevor-Wilmot School Principal Ted Gavlin shared the following info and photos — DH.

This may sound like a ceremony on some military base far away but it was actually a school day for 60 eighth grade students at Trevor-Wilmot School.

On Oct. 7, they took part in a nearly four hour Civil War Camp that coordinated with their American Civil War Unit in social studies class. Students were given the chance to experience the life of a Civil War soldier first hand as an example of authentic research. Organizer and social studies teacher, Jason Reinholz, said the event was part of the curriculum that relies heavily on primary sources in print and electronic form. This type of education allows students to experience events and situations that they have only read about in their lessons.

With from the help of a local Civil War Reenactment group based out of Kenosha, the Valley Corps, Reinholz was able to set up and bring to life a civil war camp complete with cook fires, tents and a doctor’s medical display. The students were put into groups and rotated between four areas: food and rations, uniforms and equipment, weapons and finally medicine during the Civil War. The students spent the final 45 minutes of the day drilling and marching around using the same manuals of 1861.

Eighth grade student Ariel Goschy said, “The coolest part of the camp was the hardtack and bacon that the soldiers ate. It was nice to be able to cook the food like they did.”

In the changing climate of teaching to the 21st Century Learner, it is important to blend technology with good, old fashioned, hands-on activities that reinforce the education that is already taking place. Students were able to come away from the camp with a better sense of what soldiers in this country experienced 150 years ago.

Reinholz said, “When the students read a diary entry about how men traveled 20 miles in one day, they will know what it means to have leather shoes on their feet, a stomach full of hardtack, and a 30 pound knapsack crushing their shoulders. They experienced history, if only for one day.”

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