Camp teaches kids about Civil War

YOUNGSTOWN – Children had the opportunity to learn about the Civil War through two programs being offered this summer by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

The first is a weekly “Hands on History” open house held from 2 to 4 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 14 at the Arms Family Museum, 648 Wick Ave.

R.J. Markowitz, an educational program intern and master’s degree student at Youngstown State University, said each week is a different topic such as Native Americans and pioneers, with the most recent on the Civil War.

He said the free camp offers hands-on activities, arts and crafts, games, toys, artifacts and dress-up clothing.

The second is a Civil War Summer Camp for ages 7 to 14. The next camp will be held Aug. 5 to 9, with most activities held at the Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St.

“The two camps overlapped one week so we combined the activities. The participants learned all about the Civil War. They wore outfits from the time period and saw what a battle was like,” Markowitz said.

That camp is being held in celebration and remembrance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The camp explores all aspects of the war from the politics and leaders to the civilian struggle and military life. Hands-on activities include debates, mock election and military drills.

Traci Manning, Arms Museum curator, said Stephen Dunnavant, a volunteer and tour guide, said the children enjoy the hands-on learning and activities in both inside and outside settings.

“They really like the tours of the Arms Museum,” said Dunnavant.

Lanning said she showed the children different military drills and positions and marches the soldiers took part in during battle.

Pete Leone, 7, said he liked learning about the Civil War and participating in battle.

“We pretended to have a war like they did,” he said.

A.J. Bedock, 8, of Youngstown, said his favorite part was the military items. He said he learned the steps solders did to load a gun and saw what the soldiers went through during the battle.

Erik Bedock, 7, said he remembered the soldiers who fought in the Civil War had to walk 25 miles per day.

Camilla Sutherland, 7, said she liked learning about uniforms worn by both the union and confederates soldiers.

For information on either program, call 330-743-2589.