Give me liberty ... and a fun camp PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 12 July 2014 02:01
Cheryl Garlow shows kids how to write with a feather pen during Liberty Camp at the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG — Life, liberty and the pursuit of some good ole’ summertime fun.
That was the goal of this week’s Liberty Camp for kids held at the 577 Foundation.
Started by Cheryl Garlow in 2012, the camp aims to educate children about local, state and national history.
“Being a former teacher, I love history and I love kids and it seemed to be a natural partnership,” she said. “It’s wonderful to know the origins of our country and about our freedom.”
The first year, the camp was held at Bethel Assembly of God. Garlow got a curriculum from a Liberty Camp in Kentucky and adapted it for here.
“We dwelled on the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Northwest Ordinance,” she said. “We talked about the difference of freedom and not having freedom.”
Garlow had a semi-unpleasant activity planned for the start of the week to stress the cost of freedom and what our forefathers paid for it.
The story of George Washington and his soldiers’ grueling winter trek during the Revolutionary War has always moved Garlow.
To experience the gravity of the men’s situation, the campers ate dry bread — and soaked their poorly-wrapped feet in ice.
“When George Washington’s soldiers walked in the snow until their feet bled … we just want them (the kids) to know a little bit about hardship,” she said. ‘It’s something they’ll probably never forget.”
There is a lot of fun woven into camp, too.
Last year, which was the 200th anniversary of Fort Meigs, the campers got a tour of the battlefield.
“Our goal has been to make it as much fun as we can and make history come alive,” Garlow said.
That happened this week as Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Roger Jenot, kicked off the week on Monday.
This year’s camp focused on presidents, including Rutherford B. Hayes, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy Jr., Dwight Eisenhower, Calvin Coolidge and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nine presenters dressed up as either the president or a relative, such as Mamie Eisenhower.
The last day featured a discussion on President Barack Obama who, Garlow said, hasn’t been judged by history yet.
Crafts were woven into the presidential discussion. To go along with JFK, who was a big promoter of the space program, the kids made rockets.
Garlow’s husband, Bill, also volunteers with Liberty Camp. He led the “economy game” with the theme: if you don’t pay your taxes, go to jail.
The kids also learned how to write with a feather quill pen and, during the Eisenhower talk, played games from the 1950s including Jacks, Tiddlywinks and Pick Up Sticks.
Other camp volunteers include Joyce Hammer, Viv Sommerfield, Susanna Hrosko, Sue Larimer and Linda Bowyer. Liberty Camp is sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Conservative Coalition.
Garlow spent 35 years of her career in the Oregon School District, teaching kindergarten through third grade.
In summers, she and Bill would take their two sons all over the country in a camper to see historical sites, including Boston, Williamsburg, Washington, D.C., and Gettysburg. Her oldest son, Maurice Thompson, is a constitution attorney. Her other son, Marshall, lives in Grand Rapids.
When she’s not involved in history camp, Garlow is gardening, spending time at a cottage, singing in the Rossford United Methodist Church choir and doting on her three grandchildren.
She is also co-owner of Let’s Travel Too LLC.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 13:05

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