On Wednesday, October 4, a group from the Sons of the American Revolution pitched three tents next to Cresthill Middle School in Highlands Ranch and over the next two days made 18 presentations to over 450 students on life in the Colonial era and the American Revolutionary War. Three separate camps, each with a tent, were established with each focusing on a topic: “Life in Colonial Times;” “You’re in the Army Now;” and “Run Up to the Revolution.” Groups of students would visit each camp over the two days and listen to and participate in presentations by the members of the Sons of the American Revolution.
“This is our second year of presenting what colonial life was like around the American Revolutionary War,” explained Captain Bob Easterly (U.S.N.R., Ret.), the President of the Mt. Evans Chapter of the Colorado Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. “We were invited last year by the Principal, Sid Rundle. The students seemed to enjoy it as much as we did, so we were happy to be invited back this year. Sid is a fantastic Principal and deeply interested in the colonial period. Last year, he gave an outstanding portrayal of Sam Adams before the Boston Tea Party to one of our Chapter meetings.”
Participating in the colonial life demonstrations and explanations from the Mt. Evans Chapter were Bob Easterly of Castle Rock, Gary Mitchell of Highlands Ranch, Wally Weart of Arvada, Rick Neeley of Sedalia, Wayne Snodgrass of Greenwood Village, and Robert Hampton and Steve DeBoer of Littleton. Participating from the Longs Peak Chapter was Tom Wellborn of Littleton and from the Pikes Peak Chapter, Dave Mann of Pueblo. Two members of the Daughters of the American Revolution joined program: Jewel Wellborn of Littleton and Susie Weart of Arvada. They explained how women lived and worked in the “Life in Colonial Times” presentations.
“Our members are always excited to share their knowledge of the Revolutionary War and what lead up to it,” explained Robert Hampton, the Patriot Chest Chair of the Mt. Evans Chapter. “We use what is called the ‘Patriot Chest’ in many of our presentations,” Robert further described. “It is a box or a ‘chest’ that contains facsimiles of items that would have been used during colonial life. The students can hold these items and examine them while the SAR members explain their significance to the period.”
The SAR members participating, called “Compatriots,” are all directly related to men and women who served in the Continental Army, militias or otherwise supported the American Revolution. They dressed in the military uniforms of the units in which their ancestors served. Probably the highlight of the presentations during the two days was the loading and firing of Revolutionary War muskets, similar to those used by their ancestors. The noise and halo of smoke from the burnt gunpowder as the muskets are fired adds realism to the presentations.
“One of the things that the Sons of the American Revolution does is to conduct classes or programs like these in schools across Colorado,” described Steve DeBoer, former President of the Colorado Society. “We believe it is important for students to understand what led to the revolution with England and the principles on which our country rests. And the best part is that while the students learn, we have fun doing it!”
The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), the largest male lineage organization in the U.S., consists of 50 societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies and over 33,000 members. SAR is dedicated to assisting our members, schools, teachers and the general public in their efforts to sustain and preserve our history and constitutional principles.