During week four of Hill to Harbor Discovery Camps, we went to Georges Island. On Monday, we started off the week preparing for the campers and familiarizing ourselves with the lesson plans. This week was full of challenges, with the heat being one of the biggest ones. The campers were less focused throughout the week due to the scorching heat, but we continued to try our best to get them to make the most of their days on the island.

During our time on the island, we created numerous activities to engage them in the history of the island and the fort while still having fun. One of these activities was called Storm the Fort, where campers pretended to be spies storming Fort Warren. We brought them around the fort and gave them historical context of the rooms that we encountered. The most engaging part of this activity was when we pretended to fire a cannon, trying to highlight what it would have been like to fire cannons in a battle. We also taught them about games children used to play in Fort Warren, such as hoops and graces, hoop and stick, ball in cup, and Jacob’s ladder. Despite these games being quite old, they seemed to enjoy playing them just as much as any modern video game. Lastly, we told the story of The Lady in Black, a popular ghost story about the island that takes place during the Civil War. We then would take them through the Dark Arch, a corridor of the fort that is entirely pitch black for a fun and spooky experience.

There were a lot of limiting factors such as the weather, behavioral shortcomings, and time management issues that sometimes caused groups to miss some of these fun and engaging events. But all in all, we feel that the kids enjoyed their experience on the island and learning about the fort, and we hope we inspired them to return to Georges and sparked an interest in the Boston Harbor Islands.

All Photo Credits: M. C. Teuten 

A group of campers are led down a sunny path by an NPS Education Technician, a Youth Conservation Corps Employee holds up the rear.
A line of campers link together and follow their NPS Ranger into a dark hallway in Fort Warren.
A wide angle view shows campers and leaders atop Fort Warren, a large stone structure topped with dried grass, scattered trees, and a rusted metal lookout on top

Leave a Reply