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Student signing their own declaration of citizenship

To end a Patriot Camp, there is no better way than to have a conversation about what students can do to make our society and country a better place to live. By now, they have walked with our ancestors to see the mistakes they have made, the sacrifices necessary to be a free people. Most importantly, each student should understand that while they have been guaranteed certain rights, those same rights belong to every citizen. There is also a responsibility each person must carry to honor the rights of others. In other words, we need to respect each other.

To have a fun last activity, the following list of “Declarations” were developed for your use. While just discussing them is a worthwhile activity, consider converting them to a parchment like piece of paper and use a “Declaration style” font. Have the students sign them with a quill and ink. If you have a nice wax seal, this adds to the document. These become something to take home and discuss with their parents.

The Twelve Promises of Good Citizenship

Declare to do all the following:

  1. To your fellow campers, teachers and parents, be honest
  2. Be respectful of people, property and your country
  3. Always remain hopeful and optimistic
  4. Be thrifty and not wasteful
  5. Do all things with humility
  6. Be generous and charitable
  7. Be sincere
  8. Moderation should affect how you choose to live
  9. Others should depend on you to work hard
  10.  Have courage and be brave, trusting in God’s plan for you
  11.  Do not blame others for things that you can change yourself
  12.  Be thankful for your friends, family, country and your God.

A tip here is that with the advent of ball-point pens, no one has the “soft touch” to use a quill or even a pen and nib anymore. Have plenty of spares. This also a good project to discuss how careful the original authors of our key historical documents had to be when creating them. No erasers or spell checking, just perfect penmanship. Quills are not too hard to make. Purchasing large feathers at the craft store, a sharp razor blade and some creative cutting will trim the feather tips, so they can be dipped in ink and write. Get ready for a mess. Use washable ink, have lots of paper towels handy.  Here is a YouTube video on how to make a quill pen. Need a printable copy? Use parchment paper: My Declaration at Patriot Camp

Conclusion

The purpose of holding a Patriot Camp is to immerse students into history. Dates and events often blur together in school. By telling a story with hands on experiences, students will have fun and may very well develop lifelong interests in camping, crafting, reading, writing and storytelling. The best way to get started is to visit your local historical societies and events that celebrate your area’s heritage. There you will meet people who know the stories and have accumulated many of the items needed to hold a camp. Partner with them and above all, enjoy. Feel free to check out our Photo Gallery for past camps and events that we have participated in.

Photos of a Typical Patriot Camp

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