Friday, October 23, 2009

Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine

I really enjoyed our visit to the Castillo de San Marcos. I think it was because I had prepared in advance for the trip.

Before we went to the Castillo de San Marcos, I downloaded the Junior Ranger Program Booklet from the National Park Service (NPS) website. It has information about the fort and the NPS. I incorporated it in our history lessons. A couple of days before we went, we completed the sections that could be done at home. The rest we finished during our visit to the Castillo de San Marcos. (You can get the booklets on site but it is a lot of work to do while there. They do give the option of mailing it in to receive your badges.)

The booklet directed us to places that we probably would not have gone.

For their Jr. Ranger Badge, the girls had to ask a park ranger and a park volunteer a question, it opened up a dialogue that gave us more information than we could have gotten from reading all the signs.

Curly is holding the device that lights the flint on the cannon.

Hubby enjoys sharing with Curly.

Curly enjoys listening to her father.

Angel does her Vanna White impersonation while showing us the cannon.

Now to my favorite part of the entire Castillo de San Marcos visit . . .

. . . the cannon demonstration.
Sorry for shaky video, holding onto daughters hand while taping.

When the girls showed a ranger their books, they both received a Jr. Ranger Badge and a very nice certificate. Because they wrote a letter about their visit to the fort (an activity in the booklet), they also received a Jr. Ranger Patch.

I will tell you I was impressed. I thought they would get a cheesy sticker and maybe a photocopied certificate.

A tired group leaves the Castillo de San Marcos.

Side Note:
My husband was curious about a show that he had seen about the Castillo de San Marcos. The show was Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. According to a park ranger, they totally manipulated the footage they took. They edited answers from one question and put with another question. They misrepresented the facts--only two people died at the Castillo and both are buried in cemeteries on the other side of town. The "bodies' (as they are referred to in the show) that were found were in the area where they threw away trash and was, as gross as it is, amputated body parts. Think about it, that is how they treated a musket wound, amputate and throw away. Drafts that they felt, were from air shafts not some "ghostly" presence and their most dramatic video--someone walking with a lantern could easily be explained as lights from a boat in the water. Totally sensationalize their visit at the Castillo.

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