GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
MEMORIAL HALL AND MUSEUM
G.A.R. Island Park, Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Michigan’s Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) holds a Civil War Discovery Camp on the second Tuesday of August each year for students 8 to 14-years old. The students arrive at G.A.R. Island Park (off Hamlin Street) in downtown Eaton Rapids at 10 AM, where they spend several hours of planned activities, including learning the Civil War manual of arms with wooden muskets, how to march, how the Civil War soldier lived, and much more. The students will be told about the park and its association with the Civil War Veterans, G.A.R., the Woman’s Relief Corps, and the Museum. They then are divided into groups and provided information about the life of a Civil War soldier.
During the day, each student is allowed to fire a reproduction Civil War musket (with prior parental approval). All musket handling is under strict adult supervision. Adults load (with powder only), cap, and hold the musket. Students are only allowed to pull the trigger. All students that fire a musket wear safety glasses.
Lunch is provided to the students while on the island. Around 2 PM, the students are marched back to the G.A.R. Museum for a tour and to learn about what the G.A.R. Civil War veterans and its auxiliary, the Woman’s Relief Corps, did after the war. Following the tour, each camper will be paid $13 in replica 1860s Civil War federal money and then discharged from “military service”.
During the years Michigan's G.A.R. Museum has been fortunate to have additional support for this event from Meijers (Charlotte), Mark’s Place (Eaton Rapids), and the following Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Camps: Curtenius Guard Camp No. 17 (Lansing/Sunfield), Austin Blair Camp No. 7 (Jackson), and General Benjamin Pritchard Camp No 20 (Kalamazoo).
The cost for students to participate is $20.00. Space is limited to 30 students each year. To register for the Civil War Discover Camp, download the following form:
Additional information about the Camp may be obtained by contacting the G.A.R. Museum at 517-922-6427, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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