Fort Ticonderoga has a lot of new initiatives underway in the Education Department for 2012. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to tell you about a few of them.
In early 2011, we offered two one-day workshops focused on 18th-century material culture. This year we decided to combine the two into a weekend-long seminar. “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” was held January 28th & 29th with 35 people taking part. Participants had the opportunity to examine 18th-century examples and meticulous reproductions up close and interact with the six presenters throughout the weekend. We’re still evaluating the timing for this seminar before scheduling next year’s.
For home gardeners we will host the First Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium: “Planting Seeds of Knowledge for Home Gardeners” on April 14th in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. This one-day symposium features gardening and landscaping experts from the New York-Vermont region. Heidi Karkoski, Curator of Landscape, has lined up a great list of speakers talking about things like using native plants in landscaping and home composting.
We are really excited about our new Conference on Lake George and Lake Champlain August 11 & 12. We’ve teamed up with the Lake George Association to develop a conference that explores the history, geography, culture, ecology, and current issues related to the Lake George and Lake Champlain region. The Conference features three history-related sessions, three ecology-geology-current issues sessions, and two sessions focused on the arts in the region. This conference offers us an opportunity to reach new audiences with an interest in these beautiful lakes that were so crucial to Fort Ticonderoga’s history and continue to be important in today’s economy as major tourist attractions.
Those of you who have attended our War College of the Seven Years’ War (May) or our Seminar on the American Revolution (September) may wonder how we go about planning these programs. Locating and booking quality speakers is a collaborative effort. Fort Ticonderoga staff meets to discuss possible speakers more than a year in advance of the programs. We consult participant surveys from the past year; many of the speakers we book have been recommended by attendees at previous seminars. We also talk with our colleagues in the field for recommendations, and we peruse upcoming publications for authors who might be appropriate presenters. While it’s still early in 2012, we are already hard at work on our conferences and seminars in 2013.
While the War College enters its seventeenth year and the Seminar on the American Revolution is in its ninth year, it’s exciting to branch out with our new offerings in material culture and gardening and landscaping. The Conference on Lake George and Lake Champlain provides us with an opportunity to take a holistic, interdisciplinary approach for those interested in the history and conservation of these two lakes.
I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these programs in the coming year!
Director of Education