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Register now for New Salem summer camps


Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site in conjunction with Illinois College is offering Pioneer Life Summer Day Camp programs for students entering grades four through 10.

The mission of the camp is to provide a safe, friendly and productive environment where youth can attain knowledge regarding New Salem, its residents and the effects they had on Abraham Lincoln during his six years of transition from aimless drifter to lawyer and statesman. Camp staff also plans for youth to experience the daily activities and chores necessary to sustain life at New Salem in the 1830s and emerge with skills that will allow them to achieve success throughout their own lives.

The “Living History Apprentice Program” is a five-day camp designed for students entering grades seven through 10. Campers are trained to interpret the history of Lincoln's New Salem to public visitors and participate in activities that allow them to portray the daily life of a young person in the village. In addition, they will learn a skill and complete a project during the session. For female campers, this may be quilting, knitting or a needlepoint project. For male campers, it may be leatherwork, broom making or woodworking. Campers will also spend a portion of each day assigned to one of the village homes where they will “apprentice” as a historical interpreter.

A second camp for younger children is also offered. “Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps at New Salem” is a program designed for students entering grades four through six. This program gives campers a taste of what life was like in the 1830s when Abraham Lincoln called New Salem home. Campers will explore the importance of tasks done around the home and trades practiced in the village. They will also learn about young Abraham Lincoln and how his years at New Salem shaped him. On the last day of camp, they will dress in period attire and participate in activities in the village.

The “Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps at New Salem” program will be offered July 8-12 and July 15-19. Camp sessions will last from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. The “Living History Apprentice Program” is offered the week of June 24-28. Van transportation to and from determined Springfield and Jacksonville locations is available. The program fee is $200 without van service and $225 with van service. Registration can be completed online at, by email at or calling Illinois College at 217.245.3497. A $35 deposit is due at the time of registration.
About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217-245-3149 for more information.

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