March 25, 2022
$7 per student
Living History Schoolday is a ‘Special Event day’
the museum will not be open for regular visitation
In conjunction with the Living History Weekend, The Museum of the America G.I. hosts a Living History School Day for regional home and private school students. This is an opportunity for students to view history in a new way! The purpose is to educate students about US military history from the Civil War to the present. The program has many demonstrations and displays that will excite and engage students while honoring our veterans and the sacrifices they made.
This year to accommodate more displays and to encourage social distancing due to COVID-19, the Living History School Day will feature an updated format with two sessions (one morning and one afternoon) and 3 Camps to choose from! The full program will run from 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM with event check-in starting at 8:30 AM. Each session will last two hours with a lunch break in between. You may register for both sessions or only one session. If you register for only one session, we ask that you be flexible as to the morning or afternoon session so that we may safely spread students out to accommodate COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Preference will be given to full-day participants if required for scheduling purposes. We will do our best to accommodate as many people as possible.
This year students will have three Camps to choose from – you will rank your preference when you register
- Camp Hood*: WWII Living History Display (US and British Airborne Encampment), Tanks and Historic Vehicles (WWI – Vietnam), and US Small Arms
- Camp Swift*: WWII Living History Displays – US Signal Corps, General Patton Van and Headquarters, US Navy Seabees and German Encampment
- Camp Travis*: Civil War Hospital, WWI Living History Displays (Salvation Army Donut Dollies, Allied and Axis Camps) and tour of WWI Trench
* – the final stations in each camp may vary slightly in response to the final event layout to allow for optimal flow of students and for social distancing (e.g., the German Camp and the Airborne camp might switch places).
Each of the three Camps will have 4 -5 stations to allow time for interaction between the students and the presenters. Students will rotate through the stations in a particular camp as squads (e.g., Camp Hood Squad A, B, C or D). Students in each camp will be assigned to squads based on grade as much as possible (e.g., Camp Travis Squad A might be composed of 2-4th, Camp Travis Squad B might be composed of 5-8th, and Camp Travis Squad C and D might be composed of 9-12th). The presentations are best suited for 2nd – 12th grades. Kindergarten and 1st grade students can register (as a convenience for parents with older children), but beware that each station will be last approximately 25 minutes with the entire session lasting 2 hours. Please take into account your child’s attention span and ability to focus when registering Kindergarten and 1st grade students.
The safety of the students and our Living Historians is our highest priority. No Camp will have more than 100 participants (probably less) per session so that everyone may maintain COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. For this reason, we cannot guarantee you will get your top Camp choice. However, if you stay all day you will be guaranteed to attend two different Camps. All school day participants will be required to adhere to general social distancing guidelines. Unfortunately, this year, some of the time it will be requested that students “touch with their eyes, not with their hands”. Likewise, this year we are requesting parents of all but K-1st grade children stay back away from the stations or stay or in a designated central area where you can still watch, but not crowd, to help with social distancing.
Registration will close on March 4 or when a maximum of 300 students have registered. Camp and squad assignments will be made as soon as registration closes and will be emailed to participants at least 1 week before the event.
The cost is $7 per student and $7 for each parent and extended family member. For private schools, 2 teachers/chaperones are free for every 10 students. The cost is the same whether you attend one or two sessions. Homeschool reservations will not be finalized until the registration payment is received (invoices will be emailed every Friday and you can pay via check or credit card (2.5% convenience fee added). Life can disrupt the best-made plans, so we will refund registrations when the cancellation request is received prior to 10 AM March 5. After March 5 we will be unable to provide any refunds.
Participants may bring a lunch or pre-order a Chick-fil-A lunch ($7.00). You will be given the opportunity to place a lunch order during the registration process. You can also come back at a later day and add lunches to your registration. The last day to add lunch registrations will be Monday, March 7 at noon.
A tentative schedule is shown below:
- 8:30 AM – 9:15 Check-In ( near main museum building)
- 9:30 AM – Noon – Morning Session with Camp Starts/Endings Staggered
- 11:45 AM to 1 PM – Lunch (Staggered Start)
- 1:15 – 3:15 – Afternoon Session with Camp Starts/Endings Staggered
General Information: Everyone will park at Santa’s Wonderland and enter the museum grounds from that parking lot. Morning Check-in and pre-event staging will be near the main museum building. All Camps and lunch will be at the museum demonstration ground (at the “top of the hill). All activities be outside. In the case of inclement weather (rain (except light or drizzle) or lightning), students will relocate to the main museum building to shelter in place.
Here is a small sample of what the students have experienced in the past:
The Museum of the American G.I. has one of the largest collections of restored, functioning historic military vehicles in the United States. Vehicles and equipment used in WWII to the Viet Nam conflict will be on display at the school day. Students will not only be able to view the vehicles and equipment, they will also learn how they were utilized by the military.
History will come alive for your students as they interact with our living history displays!
WWII United States Army Signal Corps encampment: Students will learn about the US Army Signal Corps as they view Camp Lili representing an encampment in a forward position in southern France. The unit is based on a signal company attached to the 441st Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion, a part of “Camel Force” which invaded southern France between Cannes and St. Raphael in August of 1944 as part of Operation Dragoon. This area was spearheaded by the Texas 36th Infantry Division to which the 441st was attached. In addition to static displays, the following items are demonstrated at Camp Lili, many of which visitors may participate in: carrier pigeons and signal flags, field phone EE-8, switchboard BD-71, telegraph TG-5A, signal lamp SE-11, aldis lamp, Chaplin’s field organ, and field phonograph.
Camp Lili is a private collection dedicated to preserving the history of WWII and honoring those who did their part. Please follow Camp Lili on Facebook for pictures, updates, and more.
WWII German Field Encampment: View a field representation of what a German Soldier’s “home” would look like including a small tent portion and small burner stove for warming rations and cooking coffee. Everything on display would have been carried on the back of the soldier, or thrown in a truck, car or tied to the side of an armored vehicle. The display represents a Waffen-SS field/maneuver unit that operated alongside the regular army and often served as shock troops as part of an initial attack. Waffen-SS troops served widely at the front lines in action along-side HEER (Regular Army) units and were often commanded by an overall General or Field Marshall who was “regular army”. Please note: While it is a historical fact that a small number of SS became notorious for their atrocities and crimes against humanity, the entire Waffen-SS was not an organization of hate. The vast majority of Waffen-SS soldiers were simply Axis combatants. This display represents these troops that served their country with honor and distinction.