Shannon Stacey

The Teen’s Excellent 18th Century Adventure

(This post is a little long, with lots of photos, but I find this interest of my son’s fascinating. And the fact he found not only this passion, but people who genuinely “get” him gives me so much joy.)

On June 29th, the teen set off for an epic trip back in time with his grandmother. There were French & Indian War living history events at Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY and at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY.

Their time-travel machine? A Toyota Yaris. Not exactly the vehicle you’d imagine packing two historical encampments into. The Yaris is about 12.5 feet long. (For comparison, my truck is almost 19 feet long.) They each have a tent (big, bulky, heavy canvas ones, not nifty nylon jobbies). Each tent has three poles—an 8 foot 2×4 and two approximately 6 foot 2x2s. So there are four eight foot 2x4s and four six foot 2x2s in this car. I noted where you can see the end of them. They run between the seats, to the right of the shifter and down into the passenger footwell alongside the teen’s legs. (Yes, their first trip, this situation was thoroughly inspected by me and they don’t interfere with the shifter, his seatbelt’s function or the airbags.) The rest of it’s a cross between a jigsaw puzzle and a Jenga game.

Here’s my son at Fort Ontario, marching off to war.

I call this next photo “What? I haven’t learned that word in French class, yet. Oh, retreat! Wait for me!”

Not many of their group traveled on to Niagara, so they sat out the battles there. Instead, the teen played French fashionista with his Grammy.

The last night, they let them drag their cots into fort itself to sleep. (Very much a kindness as they had to be out early and packing up those canvas tents wet with morning dew sucks.) Maybe it’s the Short Kid’s new obsession with watching Ghost Hunters International*, but there’s no way I could have slept in this room. But how cool is it that they got to?

He had an amazing time, returning to me Monday night a little sunburned, a little tired and smelly, and absolutely glowing.

*In a weird coincidence, while the Short Kid has been glomming Ghost Hunters International on Netflix at home, the teen says there was a Ghost Hunters film crew at one of the forts while he was there. (I don’t remember which and he’s still in bed.)

6 comments to “The Teen’s Excellent 18th Century Adventure”

  1. library addict
      · July 11th, 2012 at 11:58 am · Link

    Way cool. Thanks for sharing the pics.

    And be sure to include his involvement on his college applications.

  2. Shannon
      · July 12th, 2012 at 7:28 am · Link

    Since this is his only activity, I’ll be playing it up as much as possible. He didn’t even do history club at school! *shaking my head*

  3. Tracy S
      · July 13th, 2012 at 12:02 am · Link

    Thanks for the pictures–looks like a good time was had by all!! It’s so important for us moms that our kids find friends that get them isn’t it?? My oldest had plenty of “acquaintances” in elementary school, but no good friends. He has a best friend that he hangs with a lot that just didn’t attend school with him (this friend goes to our church and is in a diff. school district). I so wanted him to have friends he could hang with at school.

    Enter Middle School, which is usually the hardest time for kids, but my oldest seemed to hit his stride in 7th grade and made a bunch of friends that are just like him (a little nerdy ;) ). Who knew MIDDLE SCHOOL would be when my son hit his stride?!

  4. Louise
      · July 13th, 2012 at 6:38 pm · Link

    There is a Ghost Hunters at Fort Niagara! And one of my coworkers was in the Coast Guard stationed at Fort Niagara and he’s told me that it’s definitely haunted. I don’t know that you can see the full episode online but I think you can see clips of it at least.

    I’m glad TK had fun and I’m very jealous of his grandma’s dress! Does she do a lot of reenactments with him?

  5. Shannon
      · July 13th, 2012 at 8:52 pm · Link

    The teen had a few good friends at school, mostly found in middle school. He’s not a social butterfly, so those good friends are super solid. :)

    And that creepy room he slept in is at Niagara! It’s so very creepy! We watched the TAPs investigation of Fort Ticonderoga, but I’ll have to look for Niagara’s.

    Mom’s working two part time jobs this summer, which doesn’t leave a lot of time free. They did one in June, then this back-to-back weekend thing in NY was their big summer hurrah. They have another one, smaller, in August, then an event that’s not F&I War specific in September. They’re hoping to do a late fall one at our local fort again this year, too. So not as many as they’d like, but they really enjoy the ones they get to do.

  6. Amy R
      · July 16th, 2012 at 12:39 pm · Link

    These are really cool pictures. I bet your son has a blast doing these. The whole concept is foreign to me since I have lived in IL my entire life and nothing like that happens around here. Thanks for sharing your live with us readers by sharing about your kids all the time. :)

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