Junior Ranger Challenge -- Be a Storyteller

Hello Ranger-in-Training,

One of our jobs as rangers is to tell stories that have been forgotten. Thaddeus Kosciuszko has bridges, towns, and even a mountain named after him, but most people don't know anything about him.

At the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, we help visitors learn about the Polish patriot's life and work. That means we have to take some facts and tell it like a story. Sometimes people remember stories better than they remember dates or a list of facts.

Now it's your turn to be a storyteller. Help us spread the word about Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

Your friend,
Ranger Renee
Detail of color portrait of Thaddeus Kosciuszko, showing his face and hair.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko is famous in Poland, the same way that George Washington is known in America.  Kosciuszko helped George Washington's army win the Revolutionary War, and then he helped the people of Poland fight against the Russians.

Detail, Thaddeus Kosciuszko by Julian Rys, 1897. Independence National Historical Park.


Your challenge: Share Thaddeus Kosciuszko's Story with Three People



1. Read the information below about the military engineer and freedom fighter named Thaddeus Kosciuszko.
2. On a piece of paper, write down three parts of the story that you want to tell others.
3. Try to memorize the three parts so that you can tell others the story without looking at your paper.

Looking for ideas? Check out some examples in the Junior Ranger Challenge Photo Gallery.

Thaddeus Kosciuszko's Life

Read the facts below and choose three that you want to memorize for your story.

  • Born in February 1746
  • Born in what is now Poland
  • Joined the Continental Army in America in 1776
  • As a military engineer during the Revolutionary War, he designed forts and defenses. He designed a big chain to go in the Hudson River to keep British ships from coming up the river.
  • Wounded only once during the Revolutionary War - he was stabbed in the buttocks with a bayonet
  • Joined the Polish army and led the Polish people in a war against the Russians. The Polish people lost, but Kosciuszko became a hero to them.
  • Spent the winter of 1798 in a house in Philadelphia, reading, sketching and meeting with important visitors like Thomas Jefferson.
  • Became close friends with Thomas Jefferson, exchanging many letters with him over the rest of his life.
  • Believed in freedom for all people
  • Has a bridge in New York, a town in Mississippi, and a mountain in Australia named for him
  • Died in Switzerland on October 15, 1817

BONUS! Interview someone in YOUR life

1. Choose a family member or friend and ask them about their life.
2. On a piece of paper, write down at least five facts about their life.
2. Choose three of those facts to share with someone else you know.

Last updated: February 3, 2018

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

c/o Independence National Historical Park
143 S. 3rd Street

Philadelphia , PA 19106


215 965-2305
Due to the site's limited hours, visitors are advised to phone the Independence Visitor Center at the above number. Rangers at the visitor center (open 7 days a week) can answer questions and provide information about the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial

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