Connect with history at historic site's summer camps
Students interested in living like pioneers this summer will appreciate camps offered by Philip Foster Farm.
The National Historic Site in Eagle Creek, 22725 S.E. Eagle Creek Road, will host a living history camp for girls from Monday, June 24, through Friday, June 28; a girls finishing school camp from Friday, July 19, through Saturday, July 20; and a living history camp for girls and boys from Mon-
day, July 29, through Friday, Aug. 2.
"It's an incredibly unique opportunity for kids to actually experience pioneer life. They get to dress up and eat food cooked on a wood stove," said Jennifer Goldman of Philip Foster Farm. "There's nothing else like it."
In previous years, students have come as far away as Seattle to attend the camps.
In 1840, Philip Foster and his wife, Mary Charlotte, established a 640-acre farm in Eagle Creek and hosted numerous pioneers traveling west on the historic Barlow Road along the Oregon Trail. Their property featured a store and places for weary travelers to stay.
This summer, the farm's living history camps will connect attendees ages 7-12 with life in Oregon during the 1800s. Campers will wear pioneer-era clothing and learn a variety of skills relevant to the time period. They will also will create a rug that will be displayed in the recently-completed Lucy House, a representation of the home Philip Foster gifted his daughter. The home had a rug similar to the one campers will create while Lucy and her family lived in it.
"They will have a lasting legacy at the museum," Goldman said. "It's a unique experience to do these longer term projects. That's not something you have time to do if you're just at the farm for a little bit."
Campers will also eat authentic pioneer era meals for lunch — cooked on a wood stove and eaten inside of the house, prepared outdoors over an open fire and trail food eaten during a hike.
The farm will also feature a finishing school camp for girls ages 12-15. Attendees will learn about Victorian dress and manners along with pioneer life. The day after camp, campers will assist with Mary Charlotte's Garden Party on Saturday, July 20. Since the camp will also feature a re-enactment of Lucy Foster's wedding to Josiah Burnett, the finishing school graduates will act as bridesmaids.
The final summer offering at the farm is a little school house camp, which is designed to combine the historical camp experience with academic assistance in various subjects. The camp is available on a weekly or daily basis, Tuesdays through Fridays, during July. It will feature academic enrichment and pioneer crafts and skills.
The living history camps are $175, the finishing school is $50 and the little school house camps is $40 per day or $150 per week.
For more information about camps and other summer events, visit www.philipfosterfarm.com.
Goldman encouraged anyone interested in the camps to learn more.
"You can have an immersive experience that's completely unique to this part of the country," she said.