Reenactments are a magnificent way to teach children about history. There are many historical dramas, reenactments and pioneer villages across the United States that make excellent school field trips. Below is an educational field trip in Eastern Kentucky that offers all of the above in one location.
Pioneer Village Field Trip
Located in Rush, Ky., Wolfpen Woods Pioneer Village will be holding its 11th Annual Indian Summer Event. This event centers around an 18th century (living) pioneer village and encampment. Those who have come to love the pioneer way of life set up camp at the pioneer village long before the first visitors arrive. Bringing along 18th century costumes, warfare, cooking utensils, foods, soaps and any other items they have collected throughout the years these die-hard reenactors set the stage for an amazing learning experience.
You will not find any type of conveniences we have today. All the reenactors eat, sleep, walk, talk, and dress as if they were living in the past and we are walking back through time. It is an amazing event put on during the month of September. For the most part, Wolfpen Woods is open for school field trips Wednesday through Friday and to the general public on Saturday and Sunday. September dates vary from year-to-year. Check the Wolfpen website for information about upcoming reenactments.
Reenactments and Historical Drama
Upon arriving at Wolfpen Woods, you would think it was like any other place in Kentucky. A grassy parking lot, a large pond, and some gravel is all that you see. As you walk down the gravel road to the encampment, aromas of burning wood, fresh baked bread, homemade soaps, and gun powder fill the air. Stepping back in time is an understatement for this pioneer village.
You will receive a number upon arrival. This number will let you know when it is your turn for the historical drama trail. This trail winds through the woods stopping at various sections to hear characters (reenactors) tell of their life during pioneer times in the area (Rush, Kentucky). Some of the characters you will met on the trail or at their log homes are hunters, traders, pioneer families, Shawnee Indians, Jenny Wiley, Daniel and Rebecca Boone, Mrs. Ben Ulen, Charles Poke, Chief Cornstalk, and Chingwe (Native American). Each character tells the history of his/her life just as if it had been them years ago.
Tips for Visiting Wolfpen Woods Pioneer Village
When visiting the pioneer village, keep in mind there will be no hamburgers or hot dogs being served. The only thing you will find from our era is bottled water. Be sure to pack a lunch. Soaking up all the enriching history will take longer than a couple of hours. While waiting for your turn on the historical drama trail, you can browse through the cabins and listen to the reenactments of history gone by.
There are outhouses instead of bathrooms, so be sure to take along some hand wipes and hand sanitizers to use before eating lunch. Children may wish to purchase items from the gift store cabin. Most items are replicas of historical items, so be sure to announce that extra spending money is optional.