National Theme “Foundations of Freedom”
National President’s Project 2019-2020: Foundations of Freedom
2019–2020 National President Mackie Storage
Senior National President Norma L. Griffin
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.
Much like George Washington, our members are learning how to become leaders by participating in C.A.R. activities at a young age. This project will formalize that education through the national program and completing contests. Throughout all of this, it will be emphasized one doesn’t need a title to be a leader.