Roads to Freedom: Education & activity


Gettysburg, PA – An interactive summer program in Adams County is underway that encourages kids and parents to get active while providing a hands-on way of learning about Civil War history.

Roads to Freedom is a summer-long program that encourages children and parents to get outdoors and be physically active by engaging in an adaptation of letterboxing, a hobby in which participants must follow written clues to locate hidden items.

The program, spearheaded by WellSpan Community Health Improvement, combines elements of physical activity, reading, and problem solving to create a fun-filled family adventure – all while teaching participants about the rich history of Adams County.

Kevin Alvarnaz, director of community health improvement, WellSpan Health said:

“Getting families outdoors and physically active this summer is the goal of Roads to Freedom.”

“With this year being the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Roads to Freedom offers a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn about and appreciate our area’s rich history.”


Roads to Freedom combines physical activity, reading, and problem solving to create a fun-filled family adventure.

In 2012, more than 1,350 free Roads to Freedom journals were distributed to participating children. Combined, these children walked nearly 1,600 miles searching for “artifacts” – wooden markers with a rubbing plate attached to them – hidden in various locations throughout Adams County. This year, Roads to Freedom participants will be searching for “characters” from the Civil War era of American history.

Interested participants can visit any Adams County Library, the Historic Train Station (35 Carlisle Street) in downtown Gettysburg, or other select community locations to pick up a free Roads to Freedom Civil War journal to get started. The journal provides clues to finding as many characters as possible. Each character links to a specific location and page within the journal.


Prizes will be awarded to those who complete all 15 characters over the summer.

Participants have the entire summer to locate all fifteen characters and prizes will be awarded to those who complete all 15 characters. The Roads to Freedom program will officially end on Monday, September 2 (Labor Day).

In addition to WellSpan, organizations involved with planning Roads to Freedom include Adams County Library System, Gettysburg Area School District, Gettysburg Borough, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Healthy Adams County, Hospitality Lodging Investors, National Park Service – Gettysburg National Military Park, Seminary Ridge Museum, Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, and the YWCA of Gettysburg and Adams County.

In partnership with WellSpan Health, financial support of the program was provided by Adams Electric Cooperative Inc., the Optimist Club of Gettysburg and Gettysburg College.