Logan Flanagan, a 12-year-old honor student from Keith Valley Middle School (Horsham), has been named Washington Crossing Park’s Junior Volunteer of the Year for his extraordinary commitment to the park that is named for General George Washington’s daring Christmas night 1776 crossing of the Delaware River to win the Battle of Trenton.
Logan is an integral member of the Fife and Drum Corps, a musical ensemble that plays and performs military duties common to the armies of the American Revolution.
Logan has been playing the drums in school since the fourth grade, so playing for the Fife and Drum Corps was a natural transition.
His first time playing at a reenactment was at the Battle of Germantown. “I got to pretend being shot after we surrendered. The crowd went wild.” Logan is also part of the Artillery Crew. “I bring the ammunition from the ammo box and give it to the person loading the cannon,” Logan says proudly.
Volunteering at Washington Crossing Park began for Logan by chance. He was eight-years-old when he gave up wrestling, and his mom was hoping to find another activity to fill his weekends.
Wrestling’s loss turned out to be the park’s gain when on a car ride one day, Logan and his mom stumbled upon a Washington’s birthday celebration at the park. “There were cannons firing, games, cake and a dress up area.”
Logan was especially fascinated by the hats. “There were so many hats!” he remembers.
A volunteer at the celebration happened to notice the young man and his mother, and she asked if he attended Crooked Billet Elementary School. Logan was attending at that time and the school annually celebrated the Battle of Crooked Billet, an event where students and teachers dress up in colonial garb. “The hat lady,” as Logan came to call her, told him that he could borrow a hat for his school’s celebration of Crooked Billet Day. Logan did, and the following Halloween he knew exactly what his costume would be.
Returning to the hat lady, Logan came away with not only a complete colonial outfit for himself, but one for his dad as well.
The hat lady suggested they keep the uniforms to participate in the crossing in December.
Each December 25th for the past 67 years, several hundred reenactors in Continental military dress have come together to listen to an inspiring speech by General Washington and then row across the river in replica Durham boats, as thousands of people on shore watch and witness American history come to life.
Logan remembers his first Christmas day reenactment as a participant in 2016. “My dad got to cross the Delaware in one of the Durham boats. After that, my whole family became members of the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment,” a local reenactment group.
Portraying a boy living during the American Revolution has become one of the highlights of Logan’s young life.
Depending on the event, spectators may see him carrying messages, hauling water, guarding the cannon ammunition, or awaiting commands – that is, when he’s not engaging with the park’s younger visitors or posing for pictures. “I like volunteering at the park because I get to learn about history,” Logan says. “It also helps in school. I’m the only one who can answer a lot of the questions in Social Studies, which is my favorite subject.”
PHOTO CAP: Logan Flanagan