The Journey Through Hallowed Ground

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JTHG Extreme Journey Camps - Offered in Albemarle and Loudoun Counties


See what participants have to say about the program


About Extreme  Journey Camp

Campers will canoe on the Potomac River and will make historical  documentaries at camp.

The Extreme  Journey Through Hallowed Ground Summer Camp, the cornerstone of JTHG Partnership’s educational programs, is open to rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. In this remarkable adventure, students spend two weeks uncovering “the mysteries of history, through espionage.”

Developed to achieve the highest level of student engagement, the program positions campers as “members of the JTHG Intelligence Agency.” As they arrive the first day, they are handed a “Top Secret” briefing document, which provides them access to their Secret Agent Briefing binder. Their mission is to uncover the lessons of leadership found in what is now The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, but first they must decipher the hieroglyphics code on the cover of their binder to unlock their unique identity.

Using primary source documents, campers assume the identities of citizens who made history within our National Heritage Area, face the same situations they confronted and then decide, “What would I  have done?”


Extreme  "Top Secret" Mission Activities

Campers hiking in Antietam

Extreme  Journey campers are given the unforgettable opportunity to complete a variety of activities. These may include the chance to:

  • Canoe the Potomac or James River to investigate Native American culture
  • Cycle Gettysburg National Military Park
  • March Across Antietam National Battlefield
  • Tube Antietam Creek
  • Hike Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Bike the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath
  • Trek Through the Woods to Theodore Roosevelt’s Secluded Pine Knot Retreat
  • Explore Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Estate
  • Participate in an Archeological Dig at James Madison’s Montpelier
  • Practice Agriculture at the Country’s First Ever Preserved and Interpreted Freedman’s Cabin
  • Discover Their Local History with Visits to Several Significant Sites

Armed with iPad minis, digital video cameras, Mac computers, and iMovie software, our agents are charged with producing their own vodcast, or mini-documentary, in which they answer the question, “What does leadership mean to me?”

Click here for a complete list of all activities 2014 campers participated in.


Extreme  Documentary Filmmaking

Students will learn the documentary filmmaking skills.

After each site visit, students spend a full day in the “studio,” the computer lab of a local school, where our instructors work with them to teach the skills of documentary filmmaking: how to use primary source documents, how to write a script in order to tell a story, how to position your equipment to get the right shot, how to reflect on what you have learned and use that knowledge to deliver a message, how to work with sound effects and include music to enhance a scene, and finally, how to put everything together using movie-making software, In groups of three or four, our agents immediately apply this newfound wisdom in the creation of their documentaries.

Once completed, our agents celebrate their achievement on the final day of camp with a World Premiere of their vodcasts. This event is open to the public. Families and friends of the campers are especially encouraged to attend. The vodcasts will also be incorporated into the JTHG website and on YouTube where they will be made available for international viewing.

To view the vodcasts created by our 2014 campers, please click here.


2015 Camp Information

Thank you to all our 2014 camp participants and their families. We had a wonderful summer with you all. Plans for 2015 EXTREME Journey Summer Camp are already well underway. Please check back regularly for updates.

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