A week-long summer archaeology camp for students in grades 3-7 is back by popular demand at Bedminster’s historic Jacobus Vanderveer House, July 24-28. The camp, held daily from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., is presented by the nonprofit Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House in partnership with the Township of Bedminster Recreation Department, a community resource that has conducted youth summer camp activities and adult programs in the Somerset Hills area for more than 20 years. The camp, which received a Historic Preservation and History Award by the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission, is sponsored, in part, by Investors Bank Foundation.
Children will work alongside professional archaeologists from Hunter Research, a firm that has conducted numerous archaeological investigations throughout the state, including the Jacobus Vanderveer House site and the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment – an archeological dig in 1981-89 that yielded thousands of Revolutionary War artifacts.
The archaeologists will introduce participants to the field of archaeology and show them how to measure, plot dig, sift, sort, wash and categorize artifacts they find on the Vanderveer property. Through the objects they uncover, campers will gain a better understanding of local history dating back to the American Revolution.
Throughout the week, campers will also learn more about Colonial life during a field trip to East Jersey Olde Towne Village in Piscataway; activities such as basket weaving, ice cream making, open hearth cooking; and a mock artillery drill and attack led by a re-enactor portraying black Revolutionary War hero Ned Hector.
Archaeology Camp will meet at the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum, located at 3055 River Road, in Bedminster’s River Road Park. Transportation to Archaeology Camp will be provided daily from Camp Bedminster for Camp Bedminster registrants only. The fee for the camp is $185. Space is limited to 22 children, and only a few spots remain. Register directly with the Bedminster Township Recreation Department www.bedminster.us or phone 908-212-7014.
About The Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum
The Jacobus Vanderveer House served as headquarters for General Henry Knox during the winter of 1778-79 and is the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment, now recognized as America’s first military training academy and the precursor to The United States Military Academy at West Point. The Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum interprets Dutch colonial life in America as well as the stay by General Knox and his family during the 1778-79 encampment. A National and New Jersey Historic Site, the Jacobus Vanderveer House is a true landmark that offers a vivid look into the history of our country and the lives of those who made it.
Operated by The Friends of The Jacobus Vanderveer House, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the House is located at 3055 River Road and can be accessed via River Road Park. The Friends sponsor public events throughout the year; for directions and more information, visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.