Patriot campers studied and signed their own copy of the Declaration of Independence this morning (July 12, 2011) during the Constitutional Champions Camp at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, organized and run by The 9-12 Pikes Peak Patriots. Several children arrived sporting their tri-corn hats or colonial ladies' caps, which they had made at the camp the day before, and a few were dressed in colonial costumes.
Day 2 was all about the Declaration of Independence with history lessons featuring:
- Background, writing and signing of this founding document
- "Ask King George"
- Meaning of the declaration's preamble
- Citizens' celebration of their new nation on July 4, 1776
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison addressed the more than 60 children during the opening ceremony before they headed off to their learning and activity stations. Campers enjoyed making pinwheels and having their own Independence Day celebration, but the highlight of the morning was when "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence," the children mutually pledged their lives, their fortune, and their sacred honor with the original 56 founders by signing a copy of the Declaration of Independence.
During the closing, several campers came to the front and told the large crowd, including the volunteers and parents, what they had learned. Based upon their brief speeches, it appeared to some of the adults in attendance that there are burgeoning public servants and engaged citizens in this group of elementary school children. As one 9-12 volunteer put it, "With a little more education and maturity, we'll be able to proudly pass America's torch of freedom to these kids in confidence that they will keep it burning brightly."