2018 WWII Weekend Guidelines

Event Guidelines for World War II Weekend
Eisenhower National Historic Site

As a participant in the Eisenhower National Historic Site World War II Weekend, you represent the National Park Service as an interpretive volunteer. You are expected to conduct yourself in a professional and courteous manner when dealing with the public. You are expected to act in a courteous and serious manner at all times, fitting with the period that your unit portrays. Know your material well and be just as inquisitive toward the visitors as they are toward you. Ask them questions. Draw the visitor into your demonstration by comparing their lives today with the experiences of Americans during the 1940's. We also request that you respect your fellow volunteers, their equipment, and camps.

Personal Behavior and Code of Conduct

  1. Use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the site during the event.*

  1. This weekend is meant to primarily represent the Army of the United States in 1944-45 and thus, is a military camp. Look sharp! Slovenly “Willie and Joe” impersonations are not appropriate in this setting unless you are portraying troops just arriving from the front. Units portraying other Nationalities look sharp too!

  1. Courtesy to the public is required. Use of colorful language should not be tolerated by unit commanders and will not be tolerated by the park. The general public includes children. Be sensitive to proper etiquette with different age groups.

  1. Living history volunteers are not permitted to sell any items to the public or other living historians while at the historic site. World War II items, including books, must only be sold through our site bookstore. It is National Park Service policy that only NPS authorized vendors may make sales.

*There will be a cash bar Saturday night at the USO-style dance held at the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center. Please have designated drivers for your groups.

Weapons Safety

  1. Basic weapons safety rules will be enforced. All weapons will remain unloaded but will be treated as though they are loaded! Never point the muzzle at another person. Keep the barrel pointed skyward or toward the ground.

  1. When on duty, (such as guard duty or during demonstrations), weapons must be kept with the owner at all times, handled in a military manner, secured in the volunteer's hands at all times or slung.

  1. When off duty, the weapon should be secured in the participant's tent or a central secure place. Never lean any weapon in a vertical position against any object, unless you are using a rifle rack. Rifles with stacking swivels are permitted to be stacked in a military manner. If not stacked, weapons should be stored flat. All weapons (including dummies) used in displays must be located in a central area with a guard posted during hours of public visitation.

  1. Never dry fire any weapon. If done too often it can damage the mechanism.

  1. The public may hold a weapon as long as the owner maintains a firm grasp on the weapon. This will prevent inadvertent aiming at other people. The owner should check the chamber prior to each request to hold the weapon. The public is absolutely prohibited from handling edged weapons or handguns at any time.

  1. Sharp edged or pointed weapons, such as bayonets, knives, and swords, must be kept sheathed except for demonstration purposes. Even then, they must be kept in a scabbard unless there is at least a seven-foot safety zone between the living historian, other re-enactors, and the audience.


  1. Only World War II-era military vehicles will be allowed in the camp and display areas during visitation hours. Nearby will be a parking area for modern vehicles.

  1. All vehicles are to be driven in a safe manner by licensed drivers. No excessive speeds are allowed.

  1. Vehicles should only carry the number of passengers they were designed to carry.


No live ammunition with projectiles should be in the camp. While some participants might still have left over blank rounds from the New Oxford Event, NO BLANK ROUNDS ARE TO BE FIRED WHILE ON THIS SITE! The public is absolutely forbidden to handle or hold any blank ammunition at any time.


  1. All open fires for cooking must be attended. Use camp stoves. No ground or pit fires are allowed.

  1. Metal drums will be provided for heat fires during the night and early morning.

The demonstration of safe practice techniques will present a competent image to the public. These guidelines may be amended any time at the discretion of the on-site National Park Service safety officer.

Medical Emergency Guidelines for World War II Weekend

  1. In case of an actual medical emergency during a tactical demonstration, the call for medical assistance shall be “corpsman” instead of “medic.” The latter term was not generally used in the European Theater of Operations.

  1. A National Park Service ranger equipped with a radio will be on duty in the encampment area or near the demonstration area from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

  1. A park radio will be assigned at night to a designated, responsible living history volunteer who will spend the night in the encampment. In case of medical emergencies after the site closes, this person will be able to call for assistance from Adams County Control and patrol rangers.

Guidelines for German/Axis Impressions

This World War II event will also feature a German Army encampment. To many visitors, this is still very recent, painful history. Care must be given in portrayal of the “enemy.” We recognize that while Germany was under the control of an evil political system opposed to freedom and human rights, the average German soldier of the Wehrmacht or Luftwaffe was not a fanatical Nazi. Many were men who, like our own draftees, were thrust into World War II to serve their government and defend their country. Many Germans served honorably, and though there were atrocities committed by German military units, it is the average German combat soldier who did not, that we want to have represented in our event. Our living history volunteers will be able to tell the German side of the story without giving the appearance of supporting Nazism. The National Park Service will not tolerate any offenses to World War II veterans and holocaust survivors. Any unit that breaks this rule faces expulsion from the event.

Re-enactors that represent German soldiers should follow these guidelines:

  1. No political talks or speeches will be made espousing Hitler or the Nazi Party or Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party.

  1. No racist or derogatory remarks will be tolerated about any groups of people that were persecuted by the Nazi regime.

  1. No displays of Nazi Party ("swastika") flags are allowed. Only unit flags of a non-political nature will be permitted.

  1. Impressions are limited to the combat arms of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe. The Kriegsmarine is also permissible. However, no SS, "Brown Shirts," Nazi party officials, concentration camp guards, Hitler Youth or Gestapo impressions are allowed.

Last updated: January 4, 2018

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