Living History Program

Each year Angel Island State Park offers an overnight Living History Program (LHP) for fourth and fifth grade classes. Each class is limited to 44 people of which no more than 11 can be adults (including the teacher). The program is offered twice each week and is supervised on site by a state park employee.

The program takes place at Camp Reynolds which was built by the U.S. Army in 1863 to help defend San Francisco Bay from Confederate raiders.

When the class arrives at the island, all participants become soldiers in the U.S. Army in the year 1864. They march to Camp Reynolds carrying their personal gear on their backs. Bunks are then assigned in the Quartermaster building for the night. During the day these new recruits receive training in militia drill, compass orienteering, mess cooking, bread baking, and flag signaling. In the evening a reconnaissance hike is made to Mount Livermore.  Later that night, each squad is assigned a security watch period and must maintain a journal of their experiences. The next morning, park staff returns and utilizes a group of “soldiers” to help fire a twelve-pound, mountain howitzer cannon.

Those interested in this program for your class, complete the printable application (NOTE: the 2015/2016 season application will be made available soon) then email, mail, or fax it back to the contacts listed on the application. Program dates will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Teachers who return their applications first will be given priority for their date selection. Once accepted into the LHP, teachers are required to attend a weekend workshop held on the island in September. Food and teaching materials are supplied for the workshop at a cost of $25 per person. Teachers participate in the program, as will the students – carrying all of your own equipment for 1 1/2 miles.

The LHP program offers 2 classes per week: 80 classes per year. The program fee is $15 per person with a maximum of 44 people. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required by September to hold the field trip date and will be subtracted from the remaining balance, which is to be paid two months before the program date. Trip cancellations under 30 days will not receive a full refund of program fees. The class must supply their own food (about $300 to $350) and pay transportation costs to and from the island. Once the program deposit is received, the park will notify the ferry company of the school ferry discount. This will reduce your ferry fee by $3 per adult and $2 per child. The school will still need to make reservations for the ferry.

It’s recommended that Teacher’s download the Living History Program Intro and Manual for the 2013 – 2014 season.

To purchase civil war caps, call Americana Souvenirs and Gifts: (800) 692-7436, Stock No. 02529 Union Blue Cotton Cap (adjustable).

The LHP program offers a personal experience of living in the past and has a profound effect on the student’s interest in history. Classes leave Angel Island with a greater understanding and connection to history.

For further information contact Teri Pope, Interpreter I / Angel Island State Park LHP Coordinator: (415) 435-3161 or email.

Our Community. Our Island. Our Legacy.

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