Press-Republican

March 9, 2013

Fort Ti offering overnight program for Scouts


Press-Republican

---- — TICONDEROGA — A limited number of slots are available in September and October for Boy Scout groups interested in spending the night in the historic barracks at Fort Ticonderoga.

During the program, Scouts arrive midafternoon and are immediately thrust into the life of a soldier at Ticonderoga in 1775. 

“Imagine your troop being able to garrison Fort Ticonderoga overnight,” Rich Strum, Fort Ticonderoga’s director of education, said in a news release. “Give your scouts an experience they’ll never forget — a rare chance to spend the night at Fort Ticonderoga.”

They’ll participate in the Planting the Tree of Liberty program and then have some time to explore the fort and museum before closing time. 

During the approximately two-and-a-half hour Planting the Tree of Liberty program, the troop is immersed in the daily routine of the Continental soldiers garrisoning Fort Ticonderoga in the weeks after the capture by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold in 1775. Scouts form a platoon of soldiers, learning teamwork and discipline as they undergo a typical day in the life of soldiers. 

They learn about the training used to prepare soldiers to meet a powerful enemy, what soldiers ate, where they slept and experience the confusion of battle. The program includes a musket demonstration, practicing formation tactics, working with tools under supervision, learning about tents and constructing a brush shelter and working on fatigue duty alongside the fort’s interpretive staff.

“Once the visitors are gone and the fort is secured for the night, Scouts will establish their overnight camp, gather firewood and learn how to start a fire with flint and steel,” said Stuart Lilie, director of interpretation.

They will assist with the preparation of the evening meal while learning about 18th-century cooking. After cleanup, fort staff will lead scouts on an evening hike over the historic landscape before they settle in for the night. 

In the morning, Scouts again help with starting the fire and fixing breakfast before packing up. Once the site opens for visitors, Scouts can explore the fort, museum and King’s Garden on their own before heading home.

Scouts have the option of setting up their own tents on the historic grounds or, for groups of 16 or fewer Scouts and adults, spending the night in the Soldiers’ Barracks. 

The overnight experience is limited to 30 or fewer Scouts and adults.

The cost is $500 for groups of up to 16 people, or $800 for groups of 30 or fewer. The flat fee includes admission and special program fees as well as the evening and morning meals prepared over a campfire.

For more information or to schedule a group, contact Nancy LaVallie, group tour coordinator, at 585-2821 or nancy@fort-ticonderoga.org. For additional information about this and other programs available for Scouts during the 2013 season, visit www.fort-ticonderoga.org, click on the “Explore and Learn” tab, and select “Scouting” in the drop-down menu.

— Features Editor Rachael Osborne contributed to this report.