The Castle has finalized the schedule of topics and presenters for its upcoming Virtual History Camp.  The 2020 History Camp, scheduled for July 6-10 will be held virtually for the first time to ensure safety for campers, volunteers, presenters, staffers, and the families of all involved. Camp is geared towards students entering grades 3 – 6.  Each day will feature multiple classes and activities covering topics related to the era of 1860-1870s, primarily the Civil War.

“We have an amazing and diverse group of presenters this year covering a broad variety of fascinating topics related to the time period spanning from the early 1860s to 1870,” stated Kyle Yoho, Education Director at The Castle. Yoho added, “The time period we are covering at this year’s History Camp is one of the most interesting in American history.” The theme for the Virtual History Camp is “Divided & United: 1860s – 1870s.”

The first day of camp, Monday, July 6, will explore events, culture, and lifestyles leading up to the Civil War.  Kirstina Estle, Director and Jacob Leach, Intern at The Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, Ohio will discuss the history of slavery leading up to the Civil War including local ties to the abolition movement in Southeast Ohio. Dr. Robert McManus, Ph.D. at Marietta College will talk about Lincoln’s leadership style. Other topics covering will include ladies’ fashion of the 1860s.

Tuesday, July 7, the second day of History Camp, will explore the start of the war from a soldier’s perspective. Presenters and topics include Sergeant First Class Joshua Mann, Ohio National Guard Historian, who will discuss the uniforms and equipment of Union soldiers.  Military musician and historian John Connors will talk about Civil War bugle tunes and the history of the bugle’s importance in regulating Army life. Other presentations will be on making hardtack biscuits, the staple of a soldier’s food source, and the importance of writing diaries as a way of preserving history.

On Wednesday, July 8, campers will take a deeper look into the daily life of the Union soldier.  Kyle Yoho will host a session where campers will practice basic military drill in a one-hour session. Musician Brandon Bankes of The Wayfarers will play and discuss the history behind popular music during the Civil War. Additional topics covered on the third day of camp include sewing for soldiers, and a cooking demonstration showing how soldiers prepared a favorite meal, pancakes, and bacon! 

Thursday’s session will focus on changes brought about by the Civil War. Costumed presenter, Anthony Gibbs, will discuss events significant to Black Americans leading up to the Civil War and why they served. Sarah Arnold, Founder, ClutchMOV and Kyle Yoho will discuss the difference between 1860s era photos and today’s. Drew Tanner, Tintype Photographer will create a real tintype photograph in real-time for campers and Jane Crumrine will give a hands-on baking lesson in making a classic pound cake.

The last day of Virtual History Camp, Friday, July 10 will explore life once the war ended. Brian Horgan, Board Certified Physician Assistant will talk about the medical instruments doctors worked with during the Civil War and compare treatments with modern medicine.  Ohio living history museum Hale Farm and Village will explore the life of soldiers returning home following the war. Scott Britton, Director, The Castlediscuss how we remember, and ways we can see the history of the Civil War around us. In the final presentation of camp, presenter Mackenzie Sommers will demonstrate 1860s dance moves! 

The Castle virtual History Camp is for campers entering grades 3 – 6. Campers can sign up for individual presentations for $5.00 or for the full week (all 20 activities) at just $75 per camper. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, please visit, click on Educate, and scroll down to Virtual History Camp or contact The Castle at