Patriot Camp: “We hold these truths…”

pa-tri-ot (noun) a person who passionately supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

A Summertime Tradition

Summertime is a kid’s paradise filled with popsicles, picnics, flip flops, fireworks, barbeques, ballgames and vacations. For many Utah families, Patriot Camp has been added to that iconic summertime list.

Patriot Camp was started in Pennsylvania by a group of ambitious moms who wanted to teach their children more about our country’s founding and freedoms. Patriot Camp made its way to Utah nine years ago in Pleasant Grove and became a tradition in the Heber Valley seven years ago with Patriot Camp — Midway.

“Patriot Camp is a way to teach kids about the founding of our country in a day camp setting,” states the Patriot Camp’s website. “Kids will have fun while they learn and develop an interest in our history, as well as an understanding of what makes the United States of America unique.”

The camp runs four days and is organized and executed by a director, a committee and many volunteers, including Teen Leaders. During camp, the Teen Leaders are each assigned a group to help supervise and lead the children from station to station.

The curriculum is for all ages; however, patriotic and colonial activities, games, songs and crafts are designed for children in first through sixth grade.

The last day of camp is always unique. In previous years, there have been special guest appearances by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, a collector of historic flags, a collector of army vehicles and colonial artisans of different trades. Every camp culminates with a short program that includes patriotic songs the kids have learned.

More Than Just A Camp

Campers are encouraged to complete the Patriot Challenge, which includes memorizing the U.S. National Anthem (the first and last verse), the Preamble to the Constitution, the Articles of the Constitution (one-word descriptions), the Bill of Rights (short explanations), the Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

The Teen Leaders’ challenge also includes a summary of the Articles of the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address and a portion of Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech.

In a world that gets more contentious and confusing every day, it is important to understand the ideals and principles of government that our Founding Fathers and so many others lived and died for. We should hold the truths Jefferson so bravely defended in the Declaration of Independence just as critical today. The United States of America has never been perfect, but it still is a great country because of the principles upon which it was founded and meant to be governed by. Patriot Camp helps teach these principles to our children and other future leaders across the country.