Stories and Articles about Liberty Camp


Mr. John Dye’s “class room”.

 Hocking Valley Chapter SAR Enlightens Youth at “Liberty Camp” in Logan, Ohio

The Hocking Valley Chapter assisted in bringing the American Revolution to life for children attending a 5-day “Liberty Camp” hosted by the Cornerstone Baptist Church near Logan, in beautiful Hocking County, Ohio. The Liberty Camp lasted 3 hours each evening and began Monday, August 3rd, where the children, ages 8-12 years old, were assigned to groups and began learning about the Magna Carta, Jamestown, the Pilgrims, and colonial life. Compatriot John Dye assisted the teachers on these topics. The children were given “gold” coins for attending programs and giving correct answers to questions.

On Tuesday the children learned about events leading up to the American Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party (the kids got to dump boxes of “tea” from a boat into the “harbor” of grass). Pastor Jim Walz appeared as Peter Muhlenberg and told the story of the Black Robe Regiment. Compatriots Bob Davis and Tom Hankins gave a presentation on how to fold the U.S. Flag and the meaning of each fold.

On Wednesday, the Hocking Valley Chapter Color Guard presented the colors at the beginning of the program. Compatriots Tom Hankins and Bob Davis set up a tent and campsite and spoke to the children about the life of a soldier, his equipment, the battles, and hardships while encamped at Valley Forge and Morristown (Foxy Hollow). Compatriots Dave Nessley and Paul Irwin presented the militia’s role in the Revolution. The Liberty Camp instructors set up an area for the children to walk barefooted through ice water to give them an idea of the patriot soldier’s winter hardships.  On this night as well, “King George” attempted to collect taxes by taking a portion of the children’s hard-earned gold coins. He made the mistake of coming into the Continental Camp and was promptly encouraged out of camp by bayonet point.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution, as well a study of the Star Spangled Banner was the focus of Thursday evening. Compatriot John Dye shared his expertise on our founding documents that included copies of the documents, maps, illustrations, non-firing weapons, antiques, tools, and other items of interest.

On Friday the Liberty Camp concluded with a family potluck picnic, awards, and the Liberty Store (where the children could spend their gold coins). The Heritage Fife and Drum performed period music for all to enjoy. The Hocking Valley Chapter was proud to take part in such an important educational experience for the children.

Shown above are compatriots Bob Davis, left, as a Continental soldier, and Tom Hankins, right, as a British soldier, awaiting their students.  Shown in the left photo below are compatriots Paul Irwin, left, and Dave Nessley, right, speaking to the children about life as a militia man in the Revolution. Shown in the right photo is compatriot John Dye as he gives a great presentation on the American Revolution to an attentive young audience.

News article from The Logan Daily

Take a step back in time by attending Liberty Camp for Kids.

Color Guard The Hocking Valley Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard will be in full uniform on Wednesday evening, when they attend next week’s Liberty Camp for Kids event at Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Color Guard
The Hocking Valley Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard will be in full uniform on Wednesday evening, when they attend next week’s Liberty Camp for Kids event at Cornerstone Baptist Church.

LOGAN — A variety of activities focused on American History are being offered to children ages 8 through 12 next week.

That’s when Liberty Camp for Kids will be held at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 15024 state Route 328. It will be next Monday through Friday, with sessions running from 6:15 to 9 p.m., each evening.

According to Denise Whalen, event organizer, the Liberty Camp for Kids program is an interactive camp that will take the participants on a travel through time.

“During opening ceremonies each day, we will learn about the American Flag and the history of our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner,” she said. “Then the adventure will begin in 1215 A.D. and the Magna Carta, to the signing of the United States Constitution by our founding fathers.”

She noted camp highlights will feature God’s role in creating the United States of America as well as learning about the story of the Magna Carta.

It was reported that the Magna Carta, meaning “The Great Charter,” is one of the most famous documents in the world.

Originally issued by King John of England (r.1199-1216) as a practical solution to the political crisis he faced in 1215, the Magna Carta established for the first time the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law.

Although nearly a third of the text was deleted or substantially rewritten within 10 years, and almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, the Magna Carta remains a cornerstone of the British constitution.

Most of the 63 clauses granted by King John dealt with specific grievances relating to his rule. However, buried within them were a number of fundamental values that both challenged the autocracy of the king and proved highly adaptable in future centuries.

Most famously, the 39th clause gave all “free men” the right to justice and a fair trial. Some of Magna Carta’s core principles are echoed in the United States Bill of Rights (1791) and in many other constitutional documents around the world, as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the European Convention on Human Rights (1950).

Additional highlights include learning about King John, who was the brother of Richard, the lionhearted; as well as learning about the first translation of the Bible and the first printing press.

“We will also take a look at the hardships the Pilgrims had to endure as they traveled the road from tyranny to liberty,” she said.

Participants will stage their own version of the Boston tea party rebellion as they study about the excessive taxes that King George III levied on the colonists.

“The children will dress in costumes like Indians, just as the early patriots did and will go the ship and toss all of the tea into the sea,” first TLD articleWhalen said. “In addition, they will experience what General George Washington’s soldiers felt like when the crossed the Delaware River and marched to Trenton in their bare feet because our young country had no money to purchase shoes or boots for them.”

She noted that they plan to fill a baby pool with ice and wrap cloths around the children’s feet and have them walk through the pool to truly experience the freezing cold conditions that our ancestors endured.

The youngsters will learn about the hard work that the children had to do in the pioneer days when they make butter as the colonists did, as well as grinding corn to make bread and for food for their animals.

“But it won’t be all work and no play, the children will also learn about games that children played during that time period,” she added.

Whalen said that she is really looking forward to the event where participants will enjoy visits throughout the week by various historians who will portray important people in history, as well as having an opportunity to sign their own Constitution.

A family picnic and special events will be held Friday evening to conclude the event.

The fee to attend Liberty Camp is $15 per child. Families enrolling more than one child at the initial $15 fee can do so for five dollars each and discounts will be given to children whose parents choose to volunteer throughout the event.

Whalen noted that a limited number of scholarships are available to eligible families.

Parents and guardians are advised to register their child as soon as possible by logging on at, emailing liberty@3elearningenterpr


0813152056“Taking a look back in history” Hocking Hills Liberty camp is in today news paper.

The Logan Daily News

Liberty Camp hosted at the Cornerstone Baptist Church this past week gave children a glimpse of what it was like to live in the 13 colonies during the early years of our new nation.

They learned about the conflict with Britain that focused on taxes imposed by King George III, which lead to the rebellion on the belief that taxation without representation was not fair to the colonists.

Earlier in the week, the participants staged their own Boston Tea Party and last night, they had the opportunity to walk through pools of ice with rags wrapped around their feet to feel what it felt like when the soldiers fought at Valley Forge during the winter months and did not have shoes or boots.

As Alex Hamm trampled through the pool of ice he could be heard saying, “Ouch! This is really cold, my feet are numb already.”

The highlight of the week’s activities included an appearance by the Hocking Valley Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard.

The members of the Color Guard include Bob Davis and Paul Irwin, both of Canal Winchester; Tom Hankins of Granville; Dave Nessley, of Sugar Grove; and John Dye of Michigan.

Each of the Color Guard members has a combined total of more than 20 ancestors that fought in the American Revolutionary War.

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War in the United States, was the armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and 13 of its former North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America. Early fighting took place primarily on the North American continent.

According to Bob Davis, adjutant, for the Color Guard, if there wasn’t any food for the soldiers to eat, they would resort to boiling their shoes and eating the leather.

“They would eat the tongues of the shoes first because they were softest and most tender part of the shoe,” Davis said.

Davis and Tom Hankins, Commander of the Color Guard, delivered an interesting presentation about the uniforms worn by the soldiers, as well as explaining about the types of muskets used by both the British Army and Continental Army and displayed a small encampment site, so the youngsters could get an idea of how the soldiers dressed, type of weapons used and their accommodations while they were fighting battles.

Hankins displayed a reproduction of the British Brown vest 75-caliber musket that was a staple for the British Army, while Davis showed the camp participants a 1777 French Charliville 66-caliber musket that was supplied to the colonists by France during the American Revolution. According to Davis, the muskets weighed about 10 pounds each.

Each of the gentleman were wearing complete wool uniforms that were worn by the Patriots, while Hankins also displayed an authentic Red Coat that was worn by the British soldiers. He said that he purchased the British coat that was actually featured in the movie, “The Patriot.”

Hankins also noted that although the tents were small that were erected around the campsite, sometimes it was necessary for four soldiers to cram into one tent.

He also displayed two types of canteens used by the American soldiers.

“They used a tin type of canteen or wooden canteens. The wooden canteens would be painted a different color, so that if the infantry’s could not be identified by their flag when marching, the soldiers could identify the units by the color of their canteens,” Hankins commented.

Dave Nessley and Paul Irwin portrayed members of the Militia that was usually comprised of farmers and villagers trying to help protect their towns.

Although the terms Militia and Minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the 18th century there was a decided difference between the two.

Militias were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small-handpicked elite force that was required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly.

Minutemen were selected from Militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one-quarter of the Militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed Militia to arrive or await a battle.

John Dye manned the last station the youngsters visited that included many visual aspects of the writing and signing of The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress, states the reasons the British colonies of North America sought independence in July of 1776.

He referred to one of the most memorable phrases included in the Declaration of Independence.

“The important document states that all men are created equal and there are certain unalienable rights that governments should never violate. These rights include the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Dye said.

Dye’s display included a pistol similar to the one that would have been carried by General George Washington, as well as numerous paintings and photographs that depicted scenes from the writing and signing of the document, as well as a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

He also noted that one of his ancestors that fought in the American Revolution was deeded land following his discharge from the Continental Army, but he chose to purchase 150 acres in Ohio where the town of Barberton sits today.

He also said that he has in possession a ticket that was presented to one of his ancestors that served as admission to attend President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral hosted at the White House.

“If your are blessed enough to have time to research your family history, you will be surprised what you can discover,” Dye concluded.

Letter from a Volunteer

I want to thank you for the opportunity for us to educate the kids (and the adults) at your camp. One of the things that impressed me most was the attentiveness and politeness of the kids attending. I have presented many places and these kids were the best. They had good questions and a very good understanding of what we were talking about. It was very apparent from what I observed that a tremendous amout of effort and planning went into this camp. Your entire group should be commended because of the way it reached every age group including the adults. As we in the SAR strive to educate and remind everyone that we should not ever forget those who gave us our freedom from England we are thankful that there are groups like yours that are helping in their own way to also educate and preserve. We would be most happy to participate again next year if you want us and I’m sure the attendance will be even greater after the word has spread what a great educational time everyone had. I’m a firm beliver in making history come alive rather than just reading about it from a book. God bless you all and keep up the good work.
Warmest regards,
Tom Hankins

Story from camp.

I have to share a story from Liberty Camp last evening. One of our young girls arrived at camp with her mother, and Mom explained that it was the last night of camp. The little girl said, “No! I don’t want it to end.” Mom again explained that it was the last night. The little one looked at her mom and said, “Oh no, Mom! We need to pray!” She folded her hands and began to pray. Mom laughed. The girl stopped, looked at her mom, and said, “Mom, I’m praying. This is serious. It’s not funny.” How precious is that? ~ Denise Whalen








An article about Hocking Hills Liberty Camp for Kids from the Institute on the Constitution.

Denise Whelan with 3E Learning Enterprises in Logan, Ohio, has been teaching IOTC’s Constitution Course and now hosted a week-long Liberty Camp in the beginning of August!

The Liberty Camp lasted 3 hours each evening and began Monday, August 3rd, where the children, ages 8-12 years old, were assigned to groups and began learning about the Magna Carta, Jamestown, the Pilgrims, and colonial life.

The Camp was created to teach campers that God’s Divine Providence shaped the structure and creation of the United States of America and our Constitution. The Christian Heritage we have is often excluded from the teaching of our American history. To exclude God’s guiding hand in the birth of our nation is to fail to understand what has set us apart from other nations on earth. America was and is special, designed for a purpose. It is the understanding of the uniqueness of the United States that must be passed on to the next generations of Americans if we are to retain our freedom and our greatness.

There was a great turnout! Here are some pictures below:


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Letter from President of the The Hocking Valley Chapter Sons of the American Revolution

On behalf of the Hocking Valley Chapter #42 It was a pleasure to assist you with your first ever Liberty Camp. I just wish that all America would do the same and teach our youth about our beginning and what it took to be free. We will always be to your assistance in the future. 

President Hocking Valley Chapter #42
David Nessley