One thing that has kept us busy at Fort Frederica is the school groups visiting from Camp Jekyll. Between 25 and 100 kids visit us every week from Camp Jekyll and we try to make sure they have a good experience.
Camp Jekyll is a 4-H camp on Jekyll Island. It is owned by the Jekyll Island Authority and operated by Georgia 4-H. It is nicer than any 4-H camp I have ever seen – more like a college campus than a 4-H Camp. In addition, it is located on the beach. Consequently, it is used by lots of 4-H camps and other camps in the summer. School groups rent out the facilities the rest of the year for an outdoor school.
The school groups who come to Fort Frederica from Camp Jekyll are from all over Georgia. We had several large groups of 7th graders from inner city Atlanta. This week the kids were 4th through 6th graders from a small town in southern Georgia just this side of Alabama. When they come to visit us, they watch the movie and take a town tour. In addition, the volunteers do living history, inviting the kids to imagine living in the wilderness in the 1730’s. Of course, the kids’ favorite is always Tom the soldier firing the musket.
The only bad thing about being on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands for the kids is the sand gnats. The gnats have been particularly ferocious this year and I’ve seen several kids with allergic reactions to the bites. The kids get a taste of history and the sand gnats get a taste of the kids.
We enjoy the days the school groups come to visit. They always seem interested and have some unusual questions. But I am glad we only have one day a week for school groups. One hundred kids can wear you out!