When I first heard of Rock-N-Water, I was immediately intrigued with the idea of teaching young students the history of California’s gold rush. I was excited to work beside fellow Christians and build a strong fellowship with them. Over the course of 2 years, I found that teaching fourth graders and their parents the history of the Gold Rush was absolutely rewarding. It has been exciting to see the kids engaged in what I am teaching. They continuously ask questions and get hands on activities. Seeing the kids absorb California’s history is invaluable.
Why is it important for fourth graders to learn about the Gold Rush at RNW’s Living History Camp? History is important because WE ARE the past. We are the sum of all the events–good, bad, and indifferent–that have happened to us. These three aspects help guide our actions in the
present. The only way we can understand who e are and how we go to be where we are is by studying the past. For example, today in California, we are active history preservers because of our diverse railroad, gold rush, and immigrant history. This is obvious in California’s numerous national park and monuments like Yosemite National Park and Muir Woods National Monument.
History Guides Us:
Passing on this history is necessary because it guides us as a nation and reminds us of our past mistakes. The Gold Rush was such an amazing historic event. Gold was the worldwide currency at that time. With gold being found in the Golden State, it made California tremendously valuable to the United States. California was not yet a state because it had just revolted from Mexico. Therefore, the population in California was quite small. But with the discovery of gold, it led many people to California who started to settle here and build our cities. These people included Chinese immigrants, German immigrants, and French immigrants. Each of these races later came to play crucial roles in transforming Placerville, CA and many other cities up and down the state.
Here at Camp:
At RNW, we teach youth how to pan for gold in the American River, make rope, dip candles, cook tortillas and make butter! Through our quiet times, it gives us a chance to sit quietly and bask in God’s amazing creations with the kids. We point out California’s nature like birds chirping in the background, wind rustling through the trees, and even water flowing through the river. In our overnight program, we gather around the campfire to dance and sing, but most importantly, we worship the One who created all things, God. By allowing these kids to experience history, we preserve the history of our state and ultimately raise a generation that loves their state, California. In addition, our goal at Rock-N-Water Christian Camp is to draw kids closer to Christ by “time traveling” kids through history to 1854.
Over the course of decades, California has experienced monumental transformations and learned valuable lessons. It is through these events that we hope we raise a generation that takes pride in their nation and is strong in their faith. Why do you think history is important?
By Jasmine Lamberson, 49er Fun Guide
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