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C.V. Starr Blacktop Transformed Into A Revolutionary War Campground

Students assumed the persona of a soldier as they set up camp, cooked a meal, erected tents, drilled, and marched, as well as chronicled their experience in a journal for C.V. Starr’s Annual Revolutionary Encampment Day. The day is designed to give students the opportunity to experience, firsthand, the difficulties and hardships Revolutionary soldiers encountered in the War for Independence. 


Under the basketball hoop on the blacktop behind the intermediate school, two parent volunteers stoked a fire as students collected dry pinecones and sticks, a tripod with a hanging cauldron, stood astride the fire, filled with simmering “soldier soup.”


“It’s what the soldiers ate,“said Santo Masella, “soup and apple crisp.”


“I am making a cup holder,” said Ben Paradiso. “The soldiers made these to keep their cups clean. They didn’t want the cups to sit on the ground and get dirty and filled with bugs. Neither do we.”


As he spoke he hung the last pewter mug onto a long branch which looked like a clothes line for mugs.


The blacktop was divided into zones of Revolutionary War activity with students pitching tents and raising flags, peeling apples and cutting vegetables, and marching in uniform with tricorne hats and personalized felt haversacks such as “Shirley’s Haversack” in purple marker.


“We cut and sewed these ourselves. Soldiers use these for survival stuff like water, ammunition, food,” said Shirley Melendez.


Students also partook in a Colonial Medicine Workshop taught by Daria Pascale, a former Brewster Central School District teacher who was "Dr. Rush,'' who dressed and acted the part. When she demonstrated how a doctor would have fixed a wound, she showed students a rusty scalpel and bandaged the wound with a previously used rag. 

“More soldiers died under the knife than out on the battlefield,” Pascale explained.

“Wow. I had no idea,” said Jason Duarte. 

This event, which has been going on for about 20 years, is organized by fourth grade teachers Michelle Marzziotti, Frank LaMorte, Kathryn Marchionno and Jazmin Pryce and is a continuation of live learning instruction and enrichment that includes a field trip to The Institute For American Indian Studies Museum & Research Center, Colonial Fair, Maple Sugaring, and a Pancake Breakfast.