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 IGNN: Main State Page Press Release


May 20, 2009

A taste of the old life

PETERSBURG – Students entering fourth through tenth grades this fall can experience what life was like in the 1830s this summer.

Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site near Petersburg and Illinois College in Jacksonville are once again offering the Pioneer Life Summer Day Camp, a safe, friendly and productive environment where youth can learn about New Salem, its residents and the effect they had on Abraham Lincoln during his six years of transition from aimless drifter to lawyer and statesman. Youth can also experience the persistence and determination that was necessary to sustain life at New Salem in the 1830s, skills that will allow them to achieve success throughout their own lives.

“Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps at New Salem” is a program designed for fourth through seventh grade students, and gives participants a taste of what life was like in the 1830s when Abraham Lincoln called New Salem home. Campers will explore the importance of tasks done around the home, trades practiced in the village and knowledge of the surrounding natural habitat. They will also learn about young Abraham Lincoln and how his years at New Salem shaped him. At various times during the four-day camp session, they will dress in period attire and participate in activities in the village.

The “Living History Apprentice Program” is designed for eighth through tenth grade students. Campers are trained to interpret the history of Lincoln's New Salem to public visitors and participate in activities that allow them to portray the daily lives of young people in the village. In addition, they will learn a skill and complete a project during the session. For female campers, this may be a quilting, weaving or needlepoint project, and for male campers, it may be leatherwork, broom making or woodwork. Campers will also spend a portion of each day assigned to one of the village homes, where they will "apprentice" as historical interpreters.

“Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps at New Salem” will be offered July 13 - 16 and July 20 - 23. The “Living History Apprentice Program” is offered the weeks of June 15 - 18 and June 23 - 26. Camp sessions are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Van transportation to and from determined Springfield and Jacksonville locations is available. The program fee is $140 without van service and $160 with van service. To register, visit www.lincolnsnewsalem.com/kids.cfm or email PioneerCamp@ic.edu. Camp fees are due in full by June 1 and a $30 deposit is due at the time of registration.

Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is a re-creation of the 1830s log village where Abraham Lincoln lived for six years. It is located along Route 97 about two miles south of Petersburg and is open Wednesday through Sunday for free public tours, expanding to seven days per week from May 1 – September 7.


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