Category Archives: Extreme Journey Camp

In The News In 2014


As the year’s end approaches, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the past.  We are fortunate at the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area to have so many wonderful stakeholders: donors, volunteers, community partners, and the media. 

To recap 2014, we thought it would be good to share with you the work of our various programs and activities through the lens of the media.  We appreciate the willingness of the writers, reporters, and photographers who helped spread the word of our various work.  As a result, we have picked the Top 12 stories that best represent our diverse programs.


1. Leesburg Today, August 7


2.  USA Today, November 13

3. Washington Post, July 10

4. American Nurseryman, September issue

5. Military Times, July 21

6. Civil War Courier, Jan. 1


7. Eastern Home & Travel, April issue

8. AAA Motorist, October issue

9. Southern Living, October 11

10. Find it Frederick Magazine, Winter issue:


11. Daily Progress, May 29


12. Frederick News Post, October 3

This list represents local, regional, and national media coverage.  We look forward to more opportunities to share our message in 2015 and thank all our stakeholders for contributing to our success.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

EXTREME Journey Summer Camp – Loudoun’s Last Session Begins!

Monday was a fantastic day on the river! As soon as we got on the bus, the campers began to de-code their Piscataway names. One of our favorite was Etchemin which means Canoe Man. The campers also spent time de-coding a leadership word to get us started thinking about the big theme of the EXTREME Journey: leadership throughout history and today.

Once we got to the boat ramp, we met Mr. Mike and Mr. Dave, who were our river guides. We learned the parts of the boat including the bow, starboard, stern, port, and thwart. After our quick canoeing lesson, we got on the river!

The campers were so impressive – no one tipped overboard and some of us became canoe experts pretty quickly! While on the river, we saw a bald eagle, many blue heron, and a few deer. We stopped for lunch at Conoy Island where we got to meet a member of the Piscataway Tribe, Hope Butler, who arrived on the island singing a traditional Piscataway song. Hope gave a presentation on the history of the Piscataway, their culture, leadership within the group, and how they have evolved as a people. She even did a traditional dance to respect the four directions: North, South, East, and West. We were so impressed that the campers remembered their Piscataway names to share with her.

Hope finished the rest of the canoe trip with us. But before boarding the buses, we jumped into the river to cool off. When using the life-vests to float, the current would take you for quite a ride!

After boarding the bus for the trip home, we stitched and decorated medicine pouches to keep the memories of this EXTREME Journey we just started together.

Wrapping Up the First 2014 Session of EXTREME Journey Summer Camp in Loudoun

This Wednesday, we ventured north on Route 15 to Gettysburg, PA. Here, we met our amazing guide, Bob, and embarked on a 15-mile bike tour of one of the most famous battles in American history. We made several different stops at Devils Den, the Virginia & Pennsylvania monuments, the area where Pickett’s Charge took place, and even went to the top of Little Roundtop! We had time for a pit stop at the bookstore and gift-shop at the visitor’s center. I’m sure all our campers were very tired at the end of the day – I know I was!

As we approach the World Premiere of the campers’ videos, the students are working on finishing up their movies–adding credits, finalizing editing, and perfecting their titles. I know they’re excited to show everyone all their hard work. But first, we headed to Camp Highroad in Middleburg, VA. Here, students worked together as a team to complete the low challenge course and the zip line!

Summer Camp Allows Students to “Take the Journey”

EXTREME-Harpers-FerryExtreme Journey, the award-winning summer day camp organized by the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, uses multimedia, local experts, and the region’s own historic resources to provide middle school students a chance to experience the nation’s 38th National Heritage Area like never before. A successful camp took place last month in Albemarle County and the first of three Loudoun sessions is wrapping up this Friday with the premiere of the camper’s vodcasts. The second camp has just begun and the third camp begins next week (the specific camp dates are July 7-18, July 14-25, and July 21-August 1). The first and third camps take place place at Smart’s Mill Middle School while the second camp is held at Harper Park Middle School. Due to popular demand, the third camp was added this summer and all three camps sold out with a waiting list before they began.

EXTREME-Journey-RangerNow in its ninth year, the Extreme Journey takes students on hiking, biking, and canoeing trips through our National Parks, historic sites and scenic rivers between Gettysburg and Monticello. After being recruited as agents in the “Journey Intelligence Agency, students spend time with National Park Service Rangers, expert historians, archaeologists, naturalists and educators to unlock the stories and lessons of leadership that are demonstrated throughout this region. They visit many of the nation’s most historical heritage sites, assuming the identities of those who actually lived there, and are faced with the same set of circumstances as they “walk in their boots” to better understand the choices and decisions of those who forged this nation.

The students record their trials, triumphs and lessons of leadership learned from the pre-Revolutionary period through the Civil War, using digital cameras to create a video documentary, or “vodcast,” of “What Leadership Means to Me.” The vodcasts are then shared on the JTHG Partnership website, Facebook, and YouTube, creating a “viral” effect of the student’s new found knowledge and appreciation of the nation’s heritage. The vodcasts will be premiered at an event open to the public upon completion of the camp.


“We transform traditional text-book learning into a truly stimulating experience that exists only outside the confines of the classroom,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, founder and president of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. “Coupling the latest technology with creative curriculums, on-site visits, expert accounts, with the region’s breathtaking landscapes, Extreme Journey will leave students riveted by the past and ready to discover the future.”

To find out more details about the camp, to view a video about this program, or to see examples of the work of previous secret agents, visit

EXTREME Journey Camp, Loudoun Session II, Days 1 & 2

Thank you for sending your wonderful campers to us for the next two weeks! Our first day was so beautiful, as we canoed down the Potomac River. In total, we traveled 8 miles down the river putting in at the Lander Lockouse and ending at the mouth of the Monocacy River. Our river guide, Mr. Mike, taught the campers all about water safety and how to respect the river. He also gave them a lesson on how to canoe. It took some of the campers a bit longer than others to become master canoers, but they all figured it out by the end!

Along the way, we stopped at Conoy Island, where we met Hope, a member of the Piscataway Indian tribe. She brought with her some artifacts from her tribe for your campers to examine and wear. She also gave all the campers a Piscataway Indian name and they learned what their name translated to in English. Ask any camper you know if they remember what their Indian name meant. We even learned an Indian welcome dance before campers got some time to just kick back and relax in the Potomac River. They swam, floated, and created a camper train in the river. It was so much fun for us to watch them enjoy themselves and be kids!

Next up, our campers were in the computer lab at Harper Park Middle School, while they learned how to use their iPad minis to make their leadership movies. They also participated in a scavenger hunt to learn about the leaders we will profile as we make our “Journey through hallowed ground.” In the afternoon, we travelled to Morven Park, home of Westmoreland Davis, where they learned about the Progressive Era and developed skills critical for effective democratic involvement.

EXTREME Camp, Loudoun Session I–Exploring Monticello and Antietam

Hello! Last Friday, we had our longest journey of camp, to Charlottesville where we saw Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. We hiked the 2.5 mile trail to the entrance and then enjoyed a tour detailing the daily lives of the Jefferson family. Students also had a chance to visit the hands-on Discovery Center (and the gift shop, of course).

So far this week, we’ve braved the storms in Antietam, home of the bloodiest battle in Civil War history. Each student was given a role of a solider or someone who witnessed the destruction of this battle for the day. Campers were given the opportunity to practice loading and firing a cannon and communicating the way that soldiers did during the Civil War using signal flags! We also saw a demonstration on Civil War medicine, and the difficulties surgeons faced. Then, we marched from the north, carrying our muskets to Dunker Church. Due to the impending thunderstorms, our wonderful guide was able to extend his tour an extra two hours and allowed us to tour the Newcomer House, the Sunken Road, and the Burnside Bridge; but unfortunately, we were not able to tube Antietam Creek. If you’d like to see our adventures from the last two days, check our our Facebook page.

EXTREME Camp, Loudoun Session | Harper’s Ferry, Smart’s Mill, and more

On Wednesday, our Loudoun Session I campers started in Brunswick, MD and biked to Harper’s Ferry, WV, making several stops along the historic C&O Canal. Once we arrived in Harper’s Ferry, we participated in an activity that demonstrated the campers’ survival skills and taught us a lot about Lewis and Clark’s preparations for their expedition while in Harper’s Ferry. Then, we learned about important moments in African American history by role playing John Brown’s raid. Later, we went up to the Upper Town to see Storer College and discussed the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement. Finally, we made the most important stop of the day–ice cream before biking back to Brunswick. All the while, several groups began shooting their vodcasts while we explored.

Thursday marked the beginning film editing for many. All our groups are filming portions of their opening scenes and thinking of creative titles during the lab day at Smart’s Mill. Any group filming today or Monday at Antietam are choosing costumes, writing scripts, and brainstorming filming locations. After lunch, we headed to The Marshall house, where students toured the mansion (more to come on that one in our next post!).

Loudoun EXTREME Camp, Session 1, Day 1

We started our first day of the EXTREME Journey Summer Camp by cracking the codes needed to discover our Piscataway names and leadership words while we travelled north to the Potomac River, where our canoes waited. Each student had a unique Piscataway name and word that was unique to them – if you meet a camper, be sure to ask what theirs is! We began in Brunswick, Maryland, and learned the basics of canoeing from our guides Mike and Shane, from River & Trail Outfitters. We then began the 10-mile canoe trip and made various stops along the way. On Conoy Island, we met Hope Butler of the Piscataway tribe, where we got to touch and see artifacts of the Piscataway people, who once inhabited the island. We also stopped at a famous Native American fishing area to swim and play in the Potomac. We saw several Blue Herons and even a couple of Bald Eagles! We finished our journey near the Monocacy Aqueduct. If you would like to see pictures from our adventures, check out the Facebook page.

Over the next couple of days, the students will select the leaders they wish to research for their camp vodcasts, and will begin to truly focus on what leadership means to them. We will venture just a little ways from our host school, Smarts Mill, to visit the mansion at Morven Park and learn about Westmoreland Davis, a former governor of Virginia. Then, we will begin in Brunswick and bike to Harper’s Ferry, making four stops along this route. We will learn about one of America’s most famous leaders, George Washington, and the role he played in connecting the Potomac River with the territories west.