One of the important ways The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America satisfies our mission of promoting our national heritage is through educational projects. In Tennessee, we have two major endeavors: the “Why America is Free” elementary school curriculum and the many Travellers Rest educational programs, exhibits, and children’s summer camps.
This non-partisan enrichment curriculum produces extraordinary results by using a revolutionary combination of content and methods. It is a unique, interdisciplinary, course of study for upper elementary (typically 4th and 5th grade) students in which all senses are engaged and the students live what they are learning. Unparalleled in providing the most comprehensive, engaging, accurate account of the American Revolution and founding period, the “Why America is Free” curriculum includes the influence of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. No subject is taught in isolation but rather as tightly integrated elements.
For six weeks, students are immersed in this era in every subject—Science, Math, Social Studies, Language Arts, Music, Philosophy, Visual Arts, Character Education, Performing Arts and Physical Education—in a hands-on study that brings this period to life like never before. These meaningful experiences and connections result in academic excitement, true learning, high-level thinking, in-depth retained knowledge, and improved behavior and decision-making.
Each year, 12,500 children visit Travellers Rest visiting from school groups, home schools, and both boys and girls scout troops. The most attended events are “Trades Days” each September and “Hearth and Holly” during Christmas time.
“Trades Days” is a step back in time to 200 plus years ago and watch history come alive through the work of over thirty talented artisans and re-enactors. Converse with a Civil War soldier or learn the art of hat making…maybe even discover what a flintknapper does! Period demonstrators and re-enactors include basket weaving, spinning, weaving, civil war and frontier life plus much, much more.
“Hearth and Holly” in 2017: Join the Overton family in celebrating Christmas 1820s style. Tour the historic house by candlelight, interact with the Overton family and their guests, partake in holiday pastimes and learn the traditions of America’s Christmas past.
During the summer months, “Miss Mary’s Academy” is the most popular summer camp. At this gentlelady’s camp, instruction is given in the fine arts of sewing, dancing, penmanship, and the general arts of becoming a lady of the year 1817.
Click HERE for a list of the other fun and creative educational summer camps and scout programs offered at Travellers Rest.
Currently on display at Travellers Rest are 2 award-winning exhibits:
The Battle of Nashville: History Unfolds at Travellers Rest!
The Battle of Nashville exhibit tells the story of Travellers Rest and those who lived there during the Civil War. Artifacts, a video, an interactive touch screen, exhibit panels and maps help visitors understand this crucial time in American history and one family who endured its challenges.
A Past Uncovered: The Story of the Enslaved People of Travellers Rest
This award-winning exhibit tells a series of compelling stories specific to Travellers Rest and the enslaved people who lived there. With more than 50 individual slaves recognized in the exhibit, it allows the site to bring the enslaved people back into the whole Travellers Rest story.