EAST CHICAGO | East Chicago Central High School's History Club hasn't wasted any time this school year.
Members took a trip to Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Ill., on Sept. 8 to view the annual American Revolutionary War reenactment. "The students heard the firing of real canons and muskets and smelled real food cooking over open fires for the re-enactor/soldiers," said club sponsor and teacher Gale Carter.
"The students were so moved by the event that three of them "enlisted;" Omar Campos and Jonathan Rodriguez joined the American colonies' troops and David Harrison joined the British."
At the First Division Museum located in the park, the club viewed a temporary exhibit of some remnants from the World Trade Center in New York City that collapsed on 9/11. They toured the military museum and the mansion and formal gardens where the former Chicago Tribune founders, the Medills and McCormicks, once resided.
The club ended the day like they do on most field trips, with a tour of a nearby college. Students were treated to an all-you-can-eat outdoor buffet at Wheaton College.
History Club members next participated in East Chicago Central’s annual Open House on Sept. 13. While parents interacted with teachers, History Club members occupied younger children with several geography activities using the Geography Educators Network of Indiana’s giant map of Indiana, which measures 15-by-21 feet.
Upon successful completion of their assignments, the little ones were awarded Hoosier Hiker certificates, stickers and sweets by History Club members Moenic Venson and Byshawn Davis.
Two days later, History Club members visited the annual Hoosier Outdoor Experience at Ft. Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. The students went horse back riding, reminiscent of the old East Chicago Roosevelt Rough Riders. The 30-minute guided ride took them through streams in a wooded area where they spotted an two deer laying quietly in the woods.
"One student inquired what horse back riding had to do with history," Carter said. "That connection was made clear at the next stop, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, where students saw what a vital role the horse played in the American Plains region in the mid-19th Century."
Teacher Karen Gillis assisted Carter with the Cantigny Park trip, and staff member Christine Scott assisted with the Fort Harrison trip.