ESSAY CONTEST

Calling All Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Graders in Montgomery County, Pa.

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is adding a new competition to its annual Valley Forge Revolutionary 5-Mile Run.

It has nothing to do with athletics or running. But it does relate to Valley Forge.

We’re asking young historians to use their imagination, creativity and writing skills to travel back in time. Imagine yourself as a soldier under General Washington. It’s cold; you’re hungry; you’re tired.

But you’re also fighting for the cause of liberty, to finally break the bonds with Great Britain and forge a new nation.

Or maybe you’re an officer, camp follower or even just a civilian. Pick a role and write about it in the style of a journal entry.

Timeline: The essay contest runs from March 1 to March 31. All entries must be submitted before midnight of March 31.

Awards: Three winners will each receive a $100 U.S. Savings Bond and an official Rev Run medallion.

Entry Form
 

Student Information

Parent Information

Essay Submission

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By submitting your entry, you agree to the contest's Official Rules

WHO WAS AT VALLEY FORGE


Enlisted Soldier

  • You came from one of the different 13 states, or
  • You are a Native-American from one of the different tribes like the Oneida, Tuscarora, or
  • You are a free or enslaved black, or
  • You are a foreigner from another country; for example: Dutch, Irish, Welsh, Polish.

Your day starts with Reveille being played in the morning (at sunrise) and the evening ends with the sounding of retreat (at sunset). Tattoo is played by 10 p.m., to signal you to go bed.

Your duties consisted of:

  • Building earthen fortifications to protect the camp from a possible British attack. These fortifications were called Redoubts and Redans. You also dug entrenchments.
  • Building log cabins/huts to live in
  • Gathering water or firewood
  • Digging latrines
  • Sentry duty

Officer
 

  • You came from either overseas or one of the 13 states.
  • You fought in previous wars and are highly skilled in military tactics and procedures.

Camp Follower
 

  • You are the wife of a soldier who has enlisted in the Continental Army
  • You are a child of a soldier who has enlisted in the Continental Army
  • You are a sibling of a soldier who has enlisted in the Continental Army 
  • You are from a lower economic class
  • You have recently come to the colonies.
     

Your duties are to:

  • Launder and mend the soldier’s uniforms, or
  • You can assist with the cannon crew.  
  • You can work as a nurse in the military hospitals in Reading, Bethlehem, Ephrata and Yellow Springs, Pa. As a nurse you tend to the sick, and wounded. You earn a monthly salary of $8.


Civilian

  • You are a resident of Pennsylvania. The Continental Army is encamping on your property or renting your house
  • You are a Sutler selling your goods (food, clothing material, etc.) to the army
  • You are a spy for the Continental Army
  • You are a politician for the Continental Congress

 

CONTACT

Dan Weckerly

Dan Weckerly

Communications Manager

Phone: 610.834.7990
Email: weckerly@valleyforge.org

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