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The Friends of Valley Forge

Our mission is to advocate for Valley Forge National Historical Park, to enhance the visitor experience and to promote public appreciation of the Park’s historic, environmental and recreational resources.


Join the Continental Army!

First Saturday of the month Jan–Apr 11 am – noon Register @ Visitor Center by 10:45
Next Session: Saturday, March 7 Participants must be 7 years or older
Join the Army

Activities will take place outdoors. Please dress accordingly and wear sturdy shoes. Event is weather dependent.

Children are invited to Join the Continental Army and experience a day in the life of the continental soldier. Recruits will be mustered, or registered, and receive enlistment papers and continental currency. Using wooden (dummy) muskets, participants learn how to stand, march, and carry their musket as one of Washington’s soldiers would have done. Park rangers dressed in continental uniform will train the recruits in a full musket drill.

Move up the Ranks! To advance in skills and be promoted within the ranks of the Continental Army, attendees are encouraged to participate in the four-part training sessions that occur from January – April. A different topic will be addressed each month.

Army Essentials: Children who cannot participate in the four-part Join the Continental Army series can participate in Army Essentials where they learn the basic drills and commands of the Continental Army. Army Essentials is open to children of all ages.

For additional program information call 610-783-1099.

Friends Speaker Series

Tuesday, March 10 7 pm Washington Memorial Chapel
Archaeology at Valley Forge

Jesse West-Rosenthal will explore the 1777–78 Revolutionary War winter encampment at Valley Forge as it has been illuminated by nearly sixty years of archaeological research. From Lexington and Concord to Yorktown, fighting for the newfound independence of the American colonies occupied soldiers for only a fraction of the eight years of the Revolutionary War. The archaeology of the American Revolution goes well beyond the battlefield locations that dot the American landscape. With soldiers spending up to six months of the year in encampments, places like Valley Forge offer researchers the opportunity to understand the time spent outside the fighting season.

This discussion will examine how the use of archaeological research has furthered our understanding of the execution of the encampment itself, as well as the lives of the troops we now venerate today. The presentation will include an overview of the history of archaeology conducted at Valley Forge, including details of recent excavations conducted at the Washington Memorial Chapel. Selected artifacts from the Washington Memorial Chapel site will be discussed and displayed.

About the Speaker

jesse west-rosenthal

Jesse West-Rosenthal, an archaeologist and Ph.D. candidate at Temple University in historical archaeology, has nearly ten years of experience excavating numerous sites from Pennsylvania to Virginia. His dissertation seeks to examine the evolution of eighteenth-century American military encampment tactics as they developed during the American Revolution. For the past five years, Mr. West-Rosenthal has served as the director of the excavation of an archaeological site at Washington Memorial Chapel. By comparing the findings here and information obtained from archaeology conducted elsewhere at Valley Forge to excavations conducted at the Morristown, Redding, New Windsor, and Fishkill encampments, Mr. West-Rosenthal seeks to develop a better understanding of the evolution of the Continental Army off the battlefield during the American Revolution.


Bird Walks in Valley Forge

March – October 2nd & 4th Tuesdays 8 am 1.5 mile walk, 2 hrs (approx.)
Bird Walks in VF

Join Mary Ellen and Tom Heisey, avid local birders and members of the Friends, on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month for a fascinating and fun bird walk.

During this 2 hour walk, you will hear or see about 30 species in 3 habitats of meadow, edge and woods. Walk is intended for birders of all levels, so feel free to attend, even if you have never been on a bird walk. No worries if you do not have binoculars. Walk, enjoy the outdoors and learn to identify birds by ear.

Walk: Mostly paved trail but includes sections of short gravel and mowed grass. Good walking shoes recommended.

What to Bring: Binoculars and a hat. Bug spray and sun protection optional.

Where to Meet: Artillery Park Parking lot on East Inner Line Drive at 8 am. Near-by restrooms and water fountain available (May through September).

When: March 10


10th Annual Rev Run
Valley Forge Revolutionary 5 Mile Run

Sunday, April 19 7:30 am – noon (race start 8:30 am) Reg. Fee Required Rain or Shine
10th Rev Run

The Rev Run is more than just a sporting event; it’s an opportunity to support the national icon of Valley Forge National Historical Park. This historic site is truly worthy of the preservation efforts we undertake to ensure it remains a vibrant destination for generations to come.

In total, over $207,000 have been raised
by this run over the past 9 years.

THREE GREAT WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

  1. Register as a Race Participant: Take the challenge of running a 5-mile USATF certified course through the Park or a 3 mile walk to and from the National Memorial Arch. Children, ages 6-14, race 1.776 kilometers during the Young Patriots Fun Run coordinated by the Young Friends of the Park. visit www.RevolutionaryRun.org.
  2. Volunteer: Make a revolutionary difference as a race volunteer. A variety of positions available for all ages and ability. Volunteer at www.RevolutionaryRun.org.
  3. Become a Race Sponsor: For as little as $250, your firm can join the anniversary celebration and enjoy a range of race-day perks and publicity plus other year-round benefits provided in cooperation with The Friends of Valley Forge Park and other race partners. Your sponsorship is a great way to get involved, give back and support Valley Forge National Historical Park. Click here to download sponsor information or call 610-783-1777.

Friends in the News

Friends Chairman Don Naimoli was recently interviewed by Jill Horner on Comcast Newsmakers, discussing the role of the Friends and changes coming to Valley Forge National Historical Park.

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