My scout troop (Troop 66) just had one of my favorite camping trips of all time. Where, you may ask? Gettysburg, PA. On April 9 we got up at 6 a.m. and got ready for the long drive. On our way to the camp, we visited #9 coal mine and learned a little bit about coal mining, which used to be dangerous. Then we set up camp, ate dinner, relaxed at the campfire and went to sleep.
On April 10 we all woke up to eat breakfast and then went to watch a movie on the Battle of Gettysburg, where we learned about the importance of the battle. It would be a test to see if the Union could withstand the stunning push that the Confederates were making up north. The Union was greatly outnumbered and kept falling back to try to get more reinforcements and better ground. After a lot of fighting, Pickett’s Charge (also referred to as Pickett’s Rush) was a Confederate infantry assault on July 3 that failed, costing the Confederates half of their soldiers on the field that day, and on July 4 General Robert E. Lee had his soldiers retreat. This was one of the most famous infantry assaults of the Civil War and is considered the climax of the war.
Then we went to the Gettysburg Museum, where we learned more in-depth facts about the battle, such as what a soldier had to go through on a daily basis. After that we had lunch and then did a four-mile hike through an area where some Union soldiers once fought while they were falling back, and through Cemetery Hill. After that we had dinner, relaxed by the campfire and went to sleep.
On April 11 we got up, ate breakfast and then did a five-mile hike along the Union side of Pickett’s Rush. This is where the Confederates were trying to attack Union soldiers who had the high ground at Little Round Top. We learned about the 14th Connecticut Infantry, which helped repel Pickett’s Charge on the third day of fighting. We learned that Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War, and the end of the war was what Abraham Lincoln called the New Birth of Freedom. Then we had dinner, and at the campfire there was an event to see who could recite the Gettysburg Address for a massive Hershey’s chocolate bar and/or a similarly styled piece of paper with the Gettysburg Address on it (even in cursive writing) and went to sleep.
On April 12th we ate breakfast, cleaned camp, and on our way back home we visited Valley Forge. We learned that it was a place for the Northern soldiers to train and get ready for battle, and how it was also a deadly place with little food and lots of disease. Then we went to George Washington’s headquarters. Valley Forge is considered the birthplace of the American Army.