Every year the State and National Presidents select a theme and project for the members to learn about and support.
Pathways to the Past
The 2019 –2020 Maryland C.A.R. Theme is “Pathways to the Past,” which supports the 2019– 2020 State Project: a six thousand dollar contribution towards the construction of walkways, signage and a colonial chicken coop at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Catonsville.
Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) was a free African American author, surveyor, naturalist, and farmer. Born in Baltimore County prior to the Revolution, he spent most of his life on his freed family’s farm where he taught himself astronomy by watching the stars and advanced mathematics from borrowed textbooks. He was one of the first African Americans to gain distinction in science. His knowledge of astronomy and science helped him author a series of almanacs, predict a solar eclipse, and survey the boundaries of Washington, D.C. Despite his prowess and accomplishments, he is often left unnoticed by the standard American history textbook and school curriculum.
After Baltimore county purchased the land from private farmers in the 1980s, Banneker’s homestead is now the site of a public park and museum with over 142 acres dedicated to his life and legacy, primarily in the form of nature programming for roughly two school groups per week during peak season, in addition to around four weeks of summer camp and various weekend activities for all ages. The park preserves the natural history of the colonial era through their extensive environmental conservation, particularly for American native plants. With increasing traffic every day over the past twenty years, the park's new goal is to increase their accessibility through their major trail areas by placing asphalt over thick patches of grass so everyone, regardless of ability, will be able to learn more about the life of Benjamin Banneker and colonial Maryland's plant species in the park.
The goal of this project is to further this legacy by increasing the park’s accessibility for all by building an asphalt milling trail connecting the farmstead gardens for interpretation with an estimated cost of six thousand dollars, as well as building a chicken coop to better represent how Banneker lived off of his land, with an estimated cost of 450 dollars. If raised, additional funds will be contributed to building interpretive signs for the Banneker Farmstead area and new trail.
Donor levels towards this project are $25-49: Clock, $50-99: Compass, $100-199: Telescope, $200-499: Pathfinder, and $500+: Trailblazer. Wooden lapel pins with the letters, “C.A.R.” are also available for $10 each.
The primary goal of this project is to shine light on another aspect of lesser known but incredibly vital history with an angle relevant to a younger age group. Banneker's life and legacy is unique and his story deserves to be told, especially through a means for all ages and abilities. Help Maryland C.A.R. today as we pave “Pathways to the Past.”
Foundations of Freedom
George Washington’s boyhood at his family’s home, Ferry Farm, shaped the man he would become. Many of the characteristics that made Washington a great leader were founded in his early upbringing at Ferry Farm. In 1738, Augustine Washington moved his family to Ferry Farm on the banks of the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, Virginia. The bustling nature of Ferry Farm and its surroundings played a critical role in George’s development. Tragedy struck in 1743 with the death of George’s father and his then single mother, Mary Ball Washington, remained at the farm to raise George and his siblings. Mary drilled into young George the principles of moral and civil behavior—honesty, dignity, integrity, dogged determination and self-confidence.
The first goal of the Foundations of Freedom project will be to raise funds for the reproduction Washington Family Desk at George Washington’s boyhood home.The replica desk would have been the desk that was in the parlor and used by all members of the Washington household to write letters or do school lessons. We will also support the development of Ferry Farm’s web-based educational initiatives for students all over the world. One example of an exciting initiative the George Washington Foundation has begun is the creation of educational programming surrounding George’s beloved Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior targeting school-age children. For those who cannot visit in person, web-based educational programs will carry the lessons of young George’s upbringing well beyond Virginia and provide insight into growing up in colonial times.
The second goal of the project will be to highlight the leadership development opportunities that the National Society Children of the American Revolution offers our members. As our creed says, “as the boys and girls of 1776 took an active part in the War for Independence, so the boys and girls of today have a definite work to do for their Country.” What better way to become good citizens than develop leadership skills that will last a lifetime?
This project strives to connect history and leadership. By learning about the early life of George Washington and the code of conduct he strived to live by, members across the country can learn the foundations of citizenship he developed at Ferry Farm. This project can be embraced by all members, regardless of their geographic location. Ultimately, it is an opportunity for members to learn about George Washington’s upbringing, influences he had at a young age and experiences he received given the circumstances of his boyhood. They can do this through planning meeting programs, completing contests and other fun activities. The desk is a way we can leave a tangible contribution to this important site.
As George Washington learned life lessons at an early age, our members are learning how to become leaders at an early age by participating in C.A.R. activities. This project will formalize the educational opportunities our members are acquiring from the National Program and by completing state and national contests. Through the National Project, N.S.C.A.R. will be emphasizing that one doesn’t need a title to be a leader.
Our members look forward to a wonderful year learning about Benjamin Banneker and George Washington under these ladies leadership.