Militia Projects at Colony Ross

Members of the Fort Ross Militia were not just sitting around with their muskets, only on the lookout. They were busy with many other activities that were necessary for the survival of the mercantile colony of Ross. They were craftsmen, hunters, explorers and more. Here are a few onsite projects the Militia can do to contribute to the well-being of the Ross settlement. 


Rope Making ActivityKnowing how to make rope is a very useful skill. Rope has such a wide variety of uses at Colony Ross. Making rope is an optional activity for groups who choose to do Militia #Option 1 Defense and Weaponries. Making rope is a required activity for groups who choose Militia Option #2 RAC Management and Naval Skills.

Supplies and instructions for this activity are provided by Colony Ross and your ELP Instructor.


Ring Toss Game – This project is required for groups role-playing Militia Option #2 RAC Management and Naval Skills. 

  • After you have made your lengths of rope in the rope making activity above, you will cut your rope into shorter 11” pieces. 
  • Then you will turn each piece of rope into a ring, by securing the ends together with sticky paper (otherwise known as masking tape).
  • After each militia group member has turned all of their rope pieces into rings, they will borrow a bucket from the kitchen to use as a target.
  • Take turns trying to throw your rope into the bucket. Make sure to set up your ring toss game safely away from the kitchen and other Colony Ross inhabitants.
  • If time allows during the evening, Militia may ask their manager if they can show the other role groups how to play. This way everyone can enjoy playing the ring toss game!

Supplies and instructions for this activity are provided by Colony Ross and your ELP Instructor.


Practice Your Knots – This is an optional activity for all Militia groups. There are many different kinds of knots to learn. Militia Officers will need to know a few knots to teach to their Employees. Officers may use this link to prepare for their trip to Colony Ross.

Instructions are NOT provided by your ELP Instructor, but you will be provided with supplies.


Mapping the Fort – Some of the best early maps from along this coast and inland were made by those serving the Russian American Company. Take paper and pens or pencils and work together to draw a map of the Fort walls and the buildings within. Try mapping everything to scale. You can use your footsteps to measure the lengths of the Fort walls and buildings. Label each building and landmark. This project is optional for all Militia groups.

Supplies you will need to bring to Colony Ross –

  • Paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Optional: Colored pencils or watercolors
  • Optional: Compass
  • Optional: Measuring tools