Still time to sign up for New Salem summer camp


There is still time to register for the “Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps at New Salem” Pioneer Life Summer Day Camp program at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site in conjunction with Illinois College. This program is geared for students entering grades four through six and will be offered July 8-12 and July 15-19.

“Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps at New Salem” is a program that 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.

Camp sessions will last from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Van transportation to and from 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.

Starting Monday, June 24, a five-day camp, “Living History Apprentice Program,” will start for students entering grades seven through 10. Campers will be 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.

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 plan 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.


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