At Baltimore's historic Fort McHenry our third annual summer fife and drum camp ends on a high note with musical pageantry and ceremony on Friday, June 24 at noon as 50 musicians storm the fort with the sound of fifes and drums!
A mainstay of commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service is to engage youth in the parks. Fort McHenry chose to do that on a whole new level by creating a Fort McHenry Fife and Drum camp. Just as many parents and students look forward to going off to summer camp to learn about the great outdoors, young people from Baltimore may visit Fort McHenry to learn how to march, drill, play fifes and drums and get a feel for what life was like during the War of 1812. The fife and drum camp begins on June 21 and ends with a ceremony at noon on Friday, June 24.
The National Park Service "keeps it real" by beginning each day with Reveille at 9:00 a.m., students learn to play authentic music, how to march and how to function as members of a team. Like in the actual military, students have to learn to perform as a unit with exercises providing positive reinforcement. This is the third year of the fife and drum camp, and many former graduates have gone on to become performers in the Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps as well as other living history groups.
Our musical instructors bring years of experience literally on the field. Any prospective recruit may join for the weekend provided they "enlist" via online registration in advance at www.fortmchenryguard.org or by calling Ranger Timothy Ertel at 410-962-4290 Ext. 211.
"These kids are finding their park and contributing to it. It is one thing to visit a National Park, it is another to become part of it," says Ranger Timothy Ertel.