EL student attends Gettysburg history camp

The Pennsylvania Peace and Light Monument stands proudly at the Gettysburg National Military Park. PHOTO COURTESY OF CYDNEY DEWITT

The Pennsylvania Peace and Light Monument stands proudly at the Gettysburg National Military Park. PHOTO COURTESY OF CYDNEY DEWITT

BY JEFF HORVATH

Cydney Dewitt, a rising freshman at Elk Lake High School, recently returned from a History Camp at Gettysburg.

While on the trip, which lasted from July 28 to August 1, DeWitt learned a great deal about history and the Civil War, as well as invaluable lessons about leadership.

DeWitt learned about the camp, which is sponsored by the “Gettysburg Foundation”, from her 8th Grade History teacher Terry Blaisure. Blaisure attended a similar camp designed for educators in Gettysburg last year that was also sponsored by the group. The Gettysburg Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to preserve the history and heritage of the town. It sponsors many camps throughout the year. The Gettysburg Foundation completely financed Cydney’s trip to camp.

Elk Lake freshman Cydney Dewitt participated in a history camp this summer in Gettysburg.

Elk Lake freshman Cydney Dewitt participated in a history camp this summer in Gettysburg.

Cydney, who describes herself as very interested in history and the civil war, said she was very excited by the idea of going to Gettysburg. “The camp was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will never forget,” she said. Many aspects of the history camp specifically related to the battle and the civil war. Cydney and her fellow campers took a tour of the town, visited General Meade’s headquarters, marched Pickett’s Charge, and got to see the battlefield from the Cupola that General Buford occupied on the first day of combat. Some of the day-trips, like the visit to Meade’s headquarters, are not open to the public, so Cydney truly did get to see a side of Gettysburg that others don’t.

Another thing Cydney liked about the camp was seeing that history can be made anywhere. “It is amazing that we live so close to a place that shaped our history,” she said, “the town is quaint, the people are friendly, and the history is well-preserved.”

The camp was as much a leadership camp as it was a history camp. While there Cydney participated in many leadership-related activities and games that taught her how to work with new people, work as a team, and be a better listener. “My favorite part of the camp was meeting so many new people and getting to learn and work with them,” she said. “They taught us that being a leader means listening to everyone and working together.” Cydney hopes to one day use some of the skills she learned at camp as a second grade teacher.

“I would recommend this camp to anyone,” said Cydney, “I hope that I can go again in the future… I would go in a heartbeat.”