Friends of the Pilgrimage and Encampment:
Over the past ten months, volunteers and staff of the Cradle of Liberty Council have been working to determine the future of the annual Pilgrimage and Encampment (P&E). These efforts led us to several key decisions that will enable the event be even stronger as we continue into our second century.
The tradition of the Pilgrimage will continue in 2017, and each year thereafter, with a wreath laying ceremony at the Valley Forge National Historical Park (VFNHP). On the Saturday of President’s weekend, 2/18/2017, Scouts and Scouters will gather to honor General George Washington and his soldiers at the Valley Forge National Memorial Arch. The program will consist of a brief presentation followed by the wreath laying. The event will be free for participants and staff. A special patch will be created, commemorating this auspicious occasion, and will be available at the council office and online. Further details of this event will be available in early January.
Beginning in 2018, the Cradle of Liberty Pilgrimage and Encampment will move from President’s Day weekend to late March and be held at rotating locations of the American Revolution. The varied annual program, focused on the historical significance of General George Washington’s Continental Army and our country’s struggle for independence, will be more interactive for our participants, while providing cold weather camping in a safe environment.
This decision, after lengthy discussions between the VFNHP, the Cradle of Liberty executive team, and the volunteer leadership in the council, was not made easily. The challenge of providing an extended outdoor winter experience to such a large group, the associated risks, an ever-growing concern for the safety of our Scouts and Scouters, the very real possibility of permanent cancellation of the event by the VFNHP, and most importantly the genuine desire for the P&E to progress to a new generation while making it the best it can be for our Scouts were all considered.
We believe that the future of the Cradle of Liberty Pilgrimage and Encampment is very bright. We appreciate how dedicated each of you have been to this event and thank you in advance for your continued support and commitment to this program.
Barry M. Kauffmann
Pilgrimage and Encampment Chair
Cradle of Liberty Council Activities Chair