STAUNTON -- A week of learning about Virginia's eight presidents kicked off Monday at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum with students learning about Revolutionary War camps, marching and dressing in Continental Army uniforms.
Revolutionary War re-enactors from the Watermen's Museum in Yorktown helped the students travel back in time.
The annual history camp at the Wilson Library brings together 25 school-age students for a week of hands-on activities that started with lessons about America's first president, Virginia native George Washington. The students ages 6 to 12 come from schools in Staunton, Waynesboro, Lexington and Augusta County.
Camp Director Linda Petzke said the students learned Monday that Washington was a surveyor, participating in a scavenger hunt that offered trivia about the first president. Today, the students will spend their time learning about Thomas Jefferson, his architecture and his association with the University of Virginia.
"They will learn about how [the men] became presidents,'' said Petzke, who said she expects the students will leave the camp with a better appreciation of history. She said the hands-on activities are a fun way for students to learn American history. She said they will leave this week's camp with Revolutionary War era hats and haversacks.
Nadine Woodrum, the Wilson Museum educator, said some of this week's campers are returning from last year. She said the camp is publicized through media outlets, schools and brochures. "The camp was full in April,'' Woodrum said.
This year's camp is the 17th annual for the Wilson Library and Museum. A second session is scheduled for next week. The cost per child is $95.