Matt and his friends Tony, Q, and Hooter, as well as Matt’s younger sister, Katie, travel through time and space to join General George Washington’s forces at the Delaware River. As members of an adventure club, the ten-year-old boys camp out in their backyards and read about historical events that they consider adventurous. Although Katie, who is only seven years old, is not a member of the club, one night Matt decides to let her participate in the sleepover and campout with his friends. One of the main reasons they go on an actual adventure is because of Katie’s complaint. She does not consider their campout to be an adventure and hopes for more excitement.
A reason that they specifically travel to the American Revolution is because of what they were reading. Matt especially enjoys a book titled Great Adventures in History, and the night that Katie joins them, they had been reading a chapter on George Washington’s victory at Trenton, New Jersey. The children imagine the harsh winter conditions in the Revolutionaries’ camp on the Delaware River.
Matt convinces the group that the more extreme adventure that Katie desires should be a night-time walk to a nearby lake. During this walk, after Tony relates a family legend about a mysterious magic rowboat, it suddenly appears. After they climb in and row around, Katie falls out. The fantastic apparition who rescues her turns out to be General Washington, and the children realize they have been transported to his camp.