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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Boom: Kids get blast from the past

Bucks County Courier Times

Ready, aim, fire! BOOM!

As the 500-pound cannon exploded smoke Friday morning across the Fallsington Elementary School field, students screamed and cupped their ears with the palms of their hands.

I was scared, admitted 10-year-old Jay Fletcher.

But, despite the smell of rotten eggs from the sulfur in the gunpowder, fourth-grader Walter Mourey wanted more.

Again! Do it again! he cried.

So, the Pennsylvania State Navy Re-enactors let Walter's teacher ignite the unloaded weapon. If it were loaded, the ammunition, a three-pound ball, would be launched one mile, said re-enactor Damian Siekonic.

Dressed in tri-corner hats, green wool jackets, white trousers and black buckle shoes, Damian and several other male re-enactors visited the school in Fallsington to help the children study the revolution.

Nothing teaches a kid more than putting them right in the middle of it, Siekonic said as he showed the students how pulleys work using block and tackles and 50-pound sacks of sand. We try to really get them involved ... [to] make [a] connection.

That's why the men also dressed the kids in 18th-century costumes and discussed 200-year-old artifacts including a feather pen and ink, a wax and seal, shackles and a pipe.

It was really cool to see things that they would have on a ship, said Gabriel Biancosino, 10. This will help me with my projects.

Re-enactor Harry Greenberger also explained how different firearms work, including a pistol, sword and axe. He also let the teachers fire a rifle.

If we get one kid out of the whole group interested in history that's success, he said.

Want to learn more?

To find out further information about the Pennsylvania State Navy Re-enactors visit www.spiritof76.net.

Rachel Canelli can be reached at 215-949-4191 or .


Photos taken at Fallsington Elementary School


October 27, 2005

The Pennsylvania State Navy receives its 501(c)3 non-profit status.


June 24-25, 2005

Lake Champlain Longboat Flotilla

The Pennsylvania State Navy participated in the 2005 Bougainville Voyage on Lake Champlain.  The adventure began at Ille le Motte on June 19th and concluded at Fort Ticonderoga on June 25th to coincide with the Grand Encampment event. 

The HORNET joined the flotilla at Crown Point and completed the journey to Fort Ticonderoga from there.  Nearly a dozen 18th century longboats and batteau arrived at the Fort during the commencement of the 250th anniversary reenactment.