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Pioneer Life Day Camps planned at historic New Salem site


Illinois College and Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site will offer two Pioneer Life Day Camps this summer to benefit youth of various ages.

Week-long sessions of “Walking in Lincoln's Footsteps,” designed for fourth through sixth-graders, and “Living History Apprentice Program,” for seventh through 12th graders, will be held on June 18-22 and again on July 16-20. Daily sessions will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The program is directed by Illinois College graduates Michael Burke ’09 and Jessica Ross ’17, both certified teachers. Transportation from Springfield is provided for both sessions and from Jacksonville for July session only. The program fee is $200 for the camp and van transportation is an additional $30.

“Walking in Lincoln's Footsteps” is an educational day camp which includes opportunities to participate in special demonstrations of village crafts and trades with the New Salem site interpreters, trace Lincoln’s footsteps during his six years living in the village and learn period games such as graces, hoops and townball. The weeklong program culminates in a special event where campers dress in period attire and spend the day in the village portraying the life of children in the 1830s.

“The Living History Apprentice Program” will provide older youth the opportunity to apprentice as historical interpreters at Lincoln’s New Salem Historic Site. During this week-long immersive experience, participants wear period attire, and learn to share the history of the 1830s and Lincoln’s time spent in New Salem with the numerous guests who visit the village. Participants will also learn period crafts to be demonstrated to the public.

Registration can be completed online at Questions can be directed to Illinois College by email at or at 217-245-3268. 

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, Illinois. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. 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 217.245.3467 for more information.

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