Roaming Parkers’ Year of Democracy

Over the years, we have organized our lives and jobs and homeschooling so our breaks fall in March, June, September, and December.  This sort of schedule is perfect for extended roaming or more involved adventures!

We try to plan our big trips and events for these four times during the year. Then we fill in the other months with smaller regional trips or local adventures.

For the past few weeks we’ve been plotting and we’ve about gotten the skeleton of our 2019 adventures figured out.  It’s gonna look something like this:

  • March 2019 – Hiking for a week at Shiloh Battlefield in Tennessee
  • June 2019Hood Scout Reservation in Hazlehurst Mississippi
  • September 2019Parris Island South Carolina, then Athens Greece!
  • December 2019 –  Christmas in Washington DC

Notice a commonality between these events and places? It is a year of places that have some connection to Democracy!

Shiloh Battlefield

The Battle of Shiloh (A.K.A. Battle of Pittsburgh Landing) in the American Civil War was a pivotal moment in the life of our Nation.

The battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg landing, has been perhaps less understood, or to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood, than any other engagement between National and Confederate troops during the entire rebellion.
— Ulysses S. Grant

Shiloh is perhaps least understood in the region where it shoul be most properly remembered – our Deep South home. The Civil War resulted in more American casualties than all other American wars combined. Shiloh preceded and set up the Seige at Corinth (“The last time the Confederacy ever smiled“) and eventually, Vicksburg (“The Gibraltar of the Confederacy“.)

The kids are still talking about last time we went hiking at Shiloh three years ago, and they are still agitating to go back, so we’re going to spend Spring Break week there!

Hood Scout Reservation

If you’re not involved in Boy Scouts, you probably haven’t heard of Hood Scout Reservation, but if you are involved in Scouting, you most definitely should know about it!

Located outside Hazlehurst Mississippi, Hood Scout Reservation is one of the 8 coolest Scout camps in the country! HSR has a large offering of Scout activities and badges, with an extensive aquatics program, an outstanding climbing and COPE program, and a nationally-ranked shooting sports program!

The Roaming Parkers frequently attend and/or staff camps there since we live so close, and several of us are planning to be at our home away from home for most of June this year!

Parris Island, South Carolina

Parris Island is where the US Marines train the warriors that defend our democracy. Our oldest son has joined the Marines and will ship off to Parris Island in mid-June, which will put Family Day and graduation at the beginning of September.


I was talking to a Greek friend of mine the other day, telling him that Elise and I are thinking about flying to either Athens or Thessaloniki in September – so which should we do? His immediate response, “Do both!”

Another Orthodox friend of mine suggested that we absolutely have to visit the monasteries of Mount Athos, but that would exclude Elise because they don’t allow females on the Holy Mountain. Not sure about that one unless maybe we could find her a spa to hang out at while I go climb a mountain to check out a monastery.

I think we would both like to check out more southern Greek attractions, like the Athens region (Thermopylae, Marathon, etc…) and the Peloponnese (Corinth, Sparta, etc…) The South is particularly attractive (as compared to Thessaloniki and Mount Athos) as this will be September and we would like for some of the agenda to involve beaching and swimming.

Washington D.C.

A couple of friends told me recently that normally crowded Washington DC is nearly deserted during the Christmas holiday. In confirmation, the Lonely Planet Washington guidebook describes DC as sparse on crowds with a “festive” spirit during December.

That sounds perfect to me! The Roaming Parkers are planning to try to find a minimally expensive B&B rental near the Mall, and do the HOST Scout hikes and have our way with the museums and galleries for several weeks during the Christmas season!


Categories: Adventure