Civil War camp comes to life at Wapping Elementary
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., May. 3, 2013
Blue and grey uniforms filled the fields of Wapping Elementary School during the annual Civil War Encampment, held Wednesday, May 1. Fifth-graders had the opportunity to learn by doing as they participated in army marches, sang Civil War-era songs, and ate food prepared over campfires.
The event was organized by fifth-grade teachers Kathleen Colburn, Jennet DaSilva and Vicki Stetso, and special education teacher Robert Francis. It was also made possible by many parent volunteers, who dug fire pits, moved firewood and cooked breakfast.
Professional Civil War enactors were on hand to educate and lead activities. They included Kent Sinram, as a convincing Gen. Robert E. Lee, Greg Frank and Charles Brooks. Brooks has participated in school encampments for 17 years in South Windsor. This was his 15th at Wapping. Brooks did his first school reenactment at Philip R. Smith when he was a senior at South Windsor High School. He had founded a history club in high school, and is a firm supporter of the annual tradition.
“We learned a lot of things,” said Will, a student. He was particularly enthusiastic about playing Town Ball, a Civil War-era sport similar to baseball. His team won 13-10. He also enjoyed the lunch provided at the event, which had a menu similar to what real soldiers would have had during the war. “For lunch we had corn bread, apples, apple juice, water, potatoes, onions and bacon,” Will said.
His friend, Serena, also enjoyed the encampment festivities. She particularly enjoyed the appearance of a parent volunteer on a horse, delivering the “Pony Express” mail. These were letters written by parents to the student re-enactors.