Members of the Royal Rangers Outpost 3 visited fifth-graders at Arthur W. Edwards Elementary to educate students about life in colonial America.


Members of the Royal Rangers Outpost 3 visited fifth-graders at Arthur W. Edwards Elementary to educate students about life in colonial America.



Ron Burrows and Michael Giummule dressed in colonial-era clothing and answered questions from students. The mustached man under the white wig with his powder horn and flintlock musket slung over the shoulder of his purple and yellow matching coat, vest and knickers, Burrows had the attention of one particular student who asked why he was dressed in the purple and gold colors of East Carolina University.



“East Carolina University? Oh, the only university I know about was William and Mary,” Burrows said, referring to the colonial-era college in Williamsburg, Va. “Now why are the colors of my jacket purple, because purple is royalty, and my mom, when she made this for my dad, she thought he was the king. Isn’t that funny?”



Burrows said the family was one of the most important things in colonial America. Clutching a Bible to his heart, he said the colonists were all religious.



“The colonials were Biblical people,” he told the students. “You can tell that by the Declaration of Independence. What are they saying? ‘We the people, in order to form a more perfect union do ordain that we are given inalienable rights by our creator’ … so that’s proof that they were a Christian nation and we still are because the Declaration of Independence hasn’t been rescinded. The Constitution of the United States hasn’t been rescinded. Congress still prays, so just want to let you know that that is what America was all about and still is, no matter what you hear on the news anywhere.”



Burrows said the Bible was the centerpiece of a colonial home.



“This is what you guided your family with. Still should be,” he told the students. “Even though every family believes in God, there are still people who doubt, so what we want to get into is the real aspects of how they thought and what they did.”



Burrows demonstrated the mechanics of his musket and explained that colonists would use it to shoot deer or birds to feed their families. He also said it could be used in battle.



“If this was used in a felony today, it would be a weapon of mass destruction and you would go to jail as a terrorist,” he told the students.



Burrows also carried with him colonial-era items that included a knife, fork and spoon, horsehair tooth brush, deer antler whistle, spectacles, folding reading glasses, candle flint and steel, and char cloth to make a fire.



He said the Royal Rangers, a group from Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in New Bern, do frontier camping trips in which participants where colonial-era clothing.



“What we eat, how the food is prepared is all colonial. The tents we live in are all colonial,” Burrows said.



Burrows said each member has to learn a trade.



“Michael learned blacksmithing,” Burrows said of Giummule. “I’ve had boys that learned candle making, how to make beeswax candles. Others have learned how to do hide tanning.”



To cap the program the children had an abbreviated demonstration of a blacksmith’s forge by Giummule, who is a former blacksmith at Tryon Palace in New Bern.