Hermitage Pirate Camp
Ahoy, Matey! Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is hosting a Pirate Camp this summer and is inviting your student to attend! Enjoy a weeklong camp of everything involved in pirate life—from secret identities and codes and navigating waterways to a real-life mock battle, each student will walk away with a grasp of how privateers helped Andrew Jackson and his militia win the Battle of New Orleans in 1812—a critical victory for our young nation’s morale. Each camp lasts from 8 a.m. until noon and includes crafts and projects, as well as snacks. Early drop-off is available.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage Pirate Camp
July 8-12, 2019
8 a.m. – noon (with early drop-off at 7 a.m.)
Cost: $125/child (early drop-off is $10/day with $5/additional siblings)
Led by Jean Lafitte, the Baratarians were pirates who provided Jackson with munitions, soldiers, navigational assistance, and scouts that secured victory against the British at the Battle of New Orleans. The Baratarians became privateers during the War of 1812, when the government authorized them to carry out specific acts of war. Instead of being paid for their service, they were allowed to seize the goods on the ship, or even the ship itself. They acted like pirates (and some of them were pirates as well as privateers), but they had the permission of the government to do so. These men also lived ordinary lives in and around New Orleans, Louisiana and few people knew about their real identity as privateers. Privateers had to develop a range of skills and abilities that allowed them to carry out their pirating activities without being caught by the law.
The War of 1812 was critical to the foundation of our Early Republic. It provided an opportunity for Americans to defend what their fathers had established with the American Revolution. Although the U.S. had a professional army, the war could not have been won without the participation of volunteer soldiers from every part of the young nation. General Andrew Jackson’s army represented scope of the country’s population: frontiersmen, free blacks and slaves, Native Americans, professional soldiers, and immigrants. Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans was a critical victory for the nation’s morale, and it could not have been achieved without the participation of the Baratarian privateers. Americans on the East Coast began to look at settlers on the frontier as equal participants in the nation’s interests.
Day 1: A Pirate’s Life for Me!
When a pirate steps away from his day-to-day life, he must create a new identity for himself. As we learn about who Jean Lafitte was, we will create our own Baratarian crew! Secret identities, cyphers and secret codes, and a pirate hideout will be the theme of the day.
Day 2: Navigation and Orienteering
What is a pirate’s number one skill? Eluding capture. The Baratarian crew was in demand for their ability to navigate the complex landscape of swamps, rivers, and islands that characterize the Gulf Coast around New Orleans. Mapping transportation routes, designing vessels that are speedy and hard to capture, and learning to navigate difficult terrain will be explored through this day’s activities. Campers will get to see more of Barataria Bay via webconference with Jean Lafitte National Park.
Day 3: Living a Secret Life
The Baratarians lived daily lives in and around the city of New Orleans. By using the secret communication skills we learned on Day 1, campers will accomplish missions without blowing their cover.
Day 4: Power of a Pirate
As time grows closer for a battle with the British, the Baratarians are increasingly sought after by the British army and the American army. Campers will strategize for the best trade on their services.
Day 5: Battle of New Orleans
We will get a closer look at the life of Jackson’s army as they prepare for the Battle of New Orleans. A living historian will be on hand to discuss soldier life and uniforms, and campers will drill as soldiers, design and use weapons and munitions, and conduct a mock battle.