Just before school let out for the summer, the fourth grade students at Forestville Elementary School got a taste of what it would be like to live in Colonial times. Most seemed to think that life in the 18th century would not be so bad, although students did have one common complaint.
"I think it would be great," said Emily McMillion, 10. "The only problem would be the thick clothes."
Fellow fourth grader Tara Ulepic, 10, agreed.
"I'd like to live there, but with our day clothes," she said. "These are uncomfortable."
"Colonial Day," held on Tuesday, June 13 at the school, marked the closing of the fourth grade unit on Virginia history.
"It's an enrichment program that we do after they've finished their study of Virginia history and their SOL [Standards of Learning] test, so they can basically see what it's like to live in colonial times," said parent volunteer Sheryl Ulepic.
This year's program was particularly lively, as the fourth grade teachers decided to use a Fredricksburg company called Camp Flintlock for the event.
"We believe that as America moves forward, looking at our past and learning from it will help make this country a better country," said Graydon Stephenson, director of Camp Flintlock. "Our roots are important."
Employees from Camp Flintlock arrived in full colonial garb and set up several stations for the students. The children were given the opportunity to play colonial games such as Jacob's Ladder and tug-o-war, and were also able to make their own candles, quills and necklaces.
"It's pretty neat because children these days are used to playing Nintendo and X-Box," said fourth grade teacher Elise de Clerck.
There are approximately 100 fourth grade students at Forestville, and almost all of them got into the spirit and dressed in full colonial attire. Some students made their costumes at home, while others purchased theirs on eBay.
"We sent home some information on how to dress," said de Clerck.
The candle making station seemed to be the most popular activity.
"I like watching it grow and seeing our improvements," said Simone Goldstone, 10.
Daniel Conforti, 10, also liked the candle making activity the best.
"It's so weird how you can make it like that," he said.
The food was another favorite among the students.
"The ham was really good," said Zach Buller, 10.
When asked if he would like to live in colonial times, Buller had other concerns in addition to not wanting to wear the uncomfortable clothing.
"It depends," he said. "Was the Revolutionary War going on, or not? If it was, I wouldn't want to be there."
Fourth grade teacher Erin Shea said that she was really pleased with Camp Flintlock.
"It's been a really great day," said Shea. "They loved experiencing all of the hands on activities."