St. Michael-Albertville students have a wide range of talents and interests, but this story is unique. Lauren Loeffler will soon be a senior at STMA High School, and she has combined her love of history and ties to an ancestor who lived 250 years ago to serve in the National Society of Children of the American Revolution (CAR.)
Membership for this group is open to anyone under the age of 22 who is a lineal descendent of a person who rendered aid to the cause of American independence. Loeffler said this could be anyone from a member of the Continental Army to someone who publicly announced their support for independence. In Loeffler’s case, that ancestor is Gershom Martindale, a militiaman from Massachusetts who served with the Union Army for local battles. Loeffler said she is linked to Martindale on her mother’s side, six or seven generations removed.
“He wasn’t an official member of the continental army, but he served whenever things happened in Massachusetts,” Loeffler said. “He was a minute man.”
The National Society of the Children of the American Revolution serves to train good citizens, develop leaders and promote love of the United States of America and its heritage among young people. They also work to preserve and restore places of historical importance to the American Revolution and promote the celebration of patriotic anniversaries.
Loeffler has been part of CAR since she was an infant; in fact, her mother had her paperwork filled out and documentation proving her lineage prepared before she was even born. Loeffler said she formed her first friendships through CAR.
Now 17, she has been going on tour for the past three summers to attend meetings, and most recently she ascended to the rank of National Vice President of the Great Plains region this spring. She also served as the Minnesota State President from 2015-2016, and this past year she was a national co-chairman of the awards committee and presided over the awards banquet held at the convention.
Loeffler spent the first half of this summer touring around the United States for different conferences. She presided over the Great Plains meeting last month in St. Louis, Missouri, as part of her duties as Vice President.
“I pretty much ran the whole thing, which was really fun,” she said. “Throughout being in the organization I’ve spent time learning leadership skills and becoming much more confident in myself, because I was a very shy little kid.”
This self-proclaimed history nut said she also enjoys promoting knowledge of history and the various projects the organization does throughout the year.
Though youth can be members of CAR through their 22nd birthday, Loeffler said she will also become a member of Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR, when she turns 18.
“I hope to do this as long as I possibly can, but only time will tell,” she said. “I’m just glad I got to do the role I’ve been wanting to do for my entire life. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to do this job. Now I actually get to stand up and do it with somebody I knew since I was a very little member.”
It’s just amazing,” she added. “It’s an amazing experience and I simply love it.”