Valley Forge


Hello Monday morning!
Mom and I just got back from walking/jogging in the Valley Forge National Park which is made of up of rolling hills and forests dotted with monuments and historical monuments as well as original and reconstructed buildings from the military encampment. I'm now endeared to General George Washington having learned much more about him on this trip. He was truly a great man and leader. I picked up a small book titled, George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, that lists 110 rules that George penned at the age of 14, for example …

#1 Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present
#110 Labor to keep alive in your breast that little celestial fire called conscience.

The other 108 are along the same lines and while some just aren't applicable today, most are. I'm contemplating a similar list for me (could make a cool little scrapbook don't you think?) and have been imaging what are world would be like if every young person drew up such a guideline of personal conduct. 

Did you know that General Washington never left his troops in eight years of war. If Martha wanted to see him she had to come for a visit (which she did on several occasions.) Wow!

Yesterday we took the train into Philedelphia and experienced Independence Hall and much more. For me the highlight was attempting to stop at 13 park benches where college students tell lesser known stories of early American history. These "Once Upon a Nation" stops are not utilized nearly enough and were so totally interesting. We got to hear ten of the thirteen. If you live near Philly and haven't done this — do it!

Today were headed to Lancaster County to see a bit of Amish country and I'm very excited for both a slower pace and the chance to be inspired by a simpler way of life.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to share a bit more of our adventures.


  1. Love Lancaster County. I used to go up there when we lived in MD before E & L were born. Have a fabulous time (as I’m sure you will :)

  2. Oh, those “Rules of Civility” are such a great idea for a scrapbook, especially to pass down to our kids. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Didn’t get a chance to have class with you over the weekend in Valley Forge, but glad you are enjoying yourself while in PA.
    Have a great time in Lancaster today.

  4. I live in Philadelphia, where I take much of this for granted. It’s nice to see it anew through someone else’s eyes! btw – the scrapbook convention was GREAT – my friend and I are now officially broke! (at least until the next time)

  5. Enjoy your adventure. I would love to one day go visit Amish country. And I too think that George Washingtons list would make a great scrapbook. I went searching and found the total list here..
    for anyone that is interseted.
    Happy summer to all

  6. I live here and there are so many things I need to do in the historic area myself. glad you had the chance to explore the nations’ birthplace!
    I just missed you on saturday at one of your meet and greets. I was busy, but I did see you. next time i’ll get over to say hi!

  7. MaryRuth Francks says:

    That area of the country are some of my favorite places in the whole wide world!!
    I love valley forge. I love Philly. I love Lancaster county.
    Can’t wait to see your pictures!!!

  8. Michelle Salazar says:

    Thanks for the history lesson if I knew those things about Washington I did not remember them! It’s been a long time since I was in school.

  9. We were in Valley Forge on Saturday with other Frenches expatriated in the Philadelphia area. We very enjoyed our hiking. The Once upon a nation stories were very interesting!
    Yesterday my husband went in Lancaster County for the first time. It was very pleasant but unfortunately most of the shops were closed.
    Adeline from NJ

  10. Hi Stacy,
    Thanks for the heads up about everything to see and do around Valley Forge. We plan to go to Philly next Spring with our boys. I homeschool, and my 9th grader is studying The Constitution this year. I will look for the book you recommended. Another good one, that we are going to use this year is called, The Men Who Invented The Constitution- The Summer of 1787. Much about George Washington is in this book as well. We are so excited about seeing the “real” constitution next year as well.
    Hope you enjoy Lancaster County. I have a friend that grew up there, and said that it’s a lot different than most people assume that it would be when they are seeing it from a tourist’s point of view.
    Have Fun!!! Love the idea about the little album. I would love to have my 9th grader make one this year.
    With warm wishes,

  11. We have recently joined net flix and were able to watch a HBO series on John Adams. I believe it was produced by Tom Hanks. Anywhoo I LOVED the portrayal of George Washington. You will love it-it is a must see.

  12. Jill Stewart says:

    Hi Stacy,
    Glad I saw you at the convention this past weekend. Great classes. If you had a great time learning about George Washington here – next go to Mt. Vernon in Virginia where he resided and is laid to rest. What a beautiful house and plantation. We just visited there two weeks ago and it was fabulous. The history lessons you get in Washington DC and Mt. Vernon were great!
    Hope you have a great time in Lancaster today.

  13. I’ve not been to Valley Forge, but I have been to Independence Hall!
    Glad you are having a good time.

  14. So enjoyed your classes – thanks again for all the inspiration. While in Lancaster County be sure to treat yourself to whoopie pies :) Not quite as chocolately as your brownies but still yummy! Now that’s a mini album I should make – all of our Central Pa dutchy food!!

  15. Kimstewart says:

    We visited Lancaster County for the first time last week. You MUST go to Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA (I know..what a name for a town!) The BEST foods in that store. Salsa and jams and dips…mmmm, mmmm. Lots of photo opportunities, beautiful countryside. Enjoy!

  16. My mom and I just took a mother/daughter trip to Amish country…it’s another world and I’d live there if I could…it’s wonderful! Have a great time :) oh and eat one of those yummy pretzels for me :)

  17. Sounds like a great trip so far! Love the idea of coming up with our own ‘rules’ on conduct, like George Washington. Very cool.

  18. Linda Mann says:

    What memories you’ve brought back. A few years ago our family spent a month back east visiting all kinds of historical places with Valley Forge being one of them. We toured the house George Washington stayed in at Valley Forge and of those that came to carry out business with him. The docent mentioned that the wood stair railing was original to the house. What an awe inspiring thought to think that I was touching the same railing that they used. I learned about Martha while we were there also. Many think of her as a rather frumpy woman but in truth she was a spiffy dresser, assertive and definitely a woman of independent means. I loved learning about the great women behind these great men. I think every American should take this type of trip – visiting the places of American history. Very awesome.
    Enjoy your time sightseeing,

  19. tchrtiff says:

    Looks so beautiful. Do you have any back to school traditions you can share with us? Am looking for ideas (both scrap and non-scrap kind) as dd is starting school this year. Thanks.

  20. We have that book! It really does have some great guidance. I hope that when you come up with your list you will post some of them for us.

  21. What a great thing to do. I just love history! I would LOVE to go back East and visit it all. Have a safe trip home.

  22. How fortunate for you to visit FV during the summer. I bet the walk was amazing. Thank you for sharing.
    We had the opportunity of visiting during the winter. It was so absolutely amazing to me in the freezing conditions we were in what these men all suffered for our freedom today. I was humbled.

  23. Jeannette P says:

    I’ve always thought highly of George Washington & now I do so even more. What a magnificent thing to pen at the age of 14! One of my favorite spots I’ve visited was D.C. The history & monuments to see are amazing. Can’t wait to go back there & take my kids to share so much with them. I also want to go to Virginia & check out the history stuff they have there. What a great real life field trip & learning experience for all (not just the kids).
    Continue enjoying your time! And thanks for sharing

  24. Hi Stacy- Glad you enjoyed your visit. It was fun meeting you at CKC. I went home that night and triaged more pics! Hope your flight home is safe!
    Take care-Marlyn

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