Nathan Hale Education Programs

Nathan Hale Colonial Camp Experience
For ages 8-12

Travel back to the 18th century at Connecticut Landmarks’ Nathan Hale Homestead for a week of summer fun! Experience a week living as the ten Hale children did over two hundred years ago in the beautiful setting of our State Hero’s birthplace.

Participate in a spy mission and learn how codes and cyphers work. Try your hand at candle dipping and tin punching. Learn to spin wool, embroider, and write with quill pens. Learn about the tasks and chores associated with farming, and the crops and animals that were raised on the homestead. Make ice cream for a cool summer treat! Play with games of the past, such as marbles, hoops and graces, 9 Man Morris, and Put & Take. Spend a day in a one room school house where quill pens and slates are the writing implements, create a shadow portrait, and take a scenic hike through the Nathan Hale State Forest. We’ll end the week with an exhibit of arts and crafts created by the campers!

Participants should bring a hearty lunch and snack each day. In order to protect the health of our staff, visitors, and community, all campers must wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

For more information and to register, contact

$275 per child; $250 for CTL Members. Sibling discount and limited scholarships available.

Education Programs

Nathan Hale Homestead is the perfect place for students learning about the history of Connecticut in the colonial and Revolutionary period. The site is the birthplace of Connecticut’s State Hero, Nathan Hale, who was hanged as a spy during the Revolutionary War. The house, built in 1776, belonged to Nathan’s parents and family, and is located on the only site he ever called home. The Hale Homestead is situated on 17 acres, adjoining the 1500-acre Nathan Hale State Forest, lending to the site’s substantial rural character.

Teachers can select from the following presentations. The quantity of programs per field trip vary based the number of students and amount of time each group can spend at the site.

Patriotism and Peril / House Tour

Students tour the home built by the Hale family in 1776 and learn about the everyday life of a colonial family facing the American Revolution through basic role play. Guides discuss how the Hale family supported the war effort and how both men and women expressed patriotism.

18th-Century School

Students experience 18th-century school life in our one room schoolhouse. They will participate in 18th-century lesson plans including figuring arithmetic on slate boards. Students will learn how strict an 18th-century classroom could be but will also have the opportunity to enjoy recess using 18th-century toys such as graces, Jacob’s ladder and wooden hoops.

Health and Hearth

Students will learn why the kitchen was the heart of the colonial home by exploring the kitchen garden, food storage, colonial foods and herbal medicines. A snack will be made on the hearth and shared with the students.

*Garden experience varies based on season.

Swifts and Spindles

What did 18th-century Americans wear and how was it made? Students experience the process of making fabric out of wool and flax first hand through carding wool, weaving and dyeing yarn.

The Life of a Soldier

Students will learn the trials and tribulations of soldier life by visiting a soldier encampment. They will learn to drill, communicate through drum rolls, pitch a tent, and explore fire making methods such as flint and steel.

Spy for a Day

Student spies will learn to write with quill and ink, decipher coded letters and use tools of the trade. They will also discuss when and how codes are used in their modern daily life.

Learning about the Land

Students explore the landscape of Nathan Hale Homestead. Participants learn about a variety of tasks associated with a farm as well as how the landscape has changed since 1776.

Volunteer Youth Group

The Young Friends at Hale is a volunteer youth group consisting of young adults that range from 13-18 years old. The junior docents bring to life the lifestyle and traditions of the Colonial 18th century. Activities include hearth cooking, dress in colonial garb, annual encampments, games, short/long term field trips, and new friendships. The Young Friends will gain experience at the Nathan Hale Homestead by providing customer service during the Coventry Farmer’s Market. Throughout being involved in the group, the volunteer will learn the valued patriotism and the ways of life back during the American Revolution era.

The volunteer youth group meets every other Sunday starting in April to October. Applications are accepted year around.