Fort Vancouver's education opportunities are curriculum-based, and provide a lifetime of memories for students. Programs offered extend over multiple grade levels, so a student's involvement with the national park can be sustained and evolve over time. These programs offer the chance to experience the site through different lenses, fostering a sense of investigation, exploration, and stewardship.
Reservations are now open for the Talk of the Trade program. Scroll down to learn more. Reservations for Spring Programs will open on October 16, 2017.
If you need any help making reservations or planning our visit, please contact park staff.
2017-2018 Winter Education Programs: Talk of the Trade
Accepting reservations now!
Dates: October 3, 2017 - February 9, 2018,
Tuesday - Friday (Holidays are excluded)
Hours: 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 11:30 am.
Buildings Toured: Start at the Bakehouse, then the Chief Factors House, Fur Store, Traded Shop, and conclude at the BakeHouse.
This program focuses on multiple ways we learn and experience history, while highlighting the many dynamic cultures of Fort Vancouver. Students will learn about the trade process and experience the Fur Store and Indian Trade Shop. They will also learn words in Chinook Jargon, a creole language spoken in the Fort Vancouver village. Chinook Jargon developed from indigenous and global languages to enable trade in the Pacific Northwest. Students will then be gathered for a conclusion and brought to the Blacksmith Shop, if time allows.
Tours are 1 hour long, with an additional 20 minutes needed if you intend to visit the Blacksmith Shop. The tour is designed to accommodate one class of no more than 35 students, not including chaperones and teachers.
Making a reservation
A reservation is required for all ranger-led education tours. Check the calendar below for availble tours, blank dates and times are not availble.
The following rules apply:
A school can request up to 3 tours and must submit a request for each tour.
Each tour is limited to 35 students not including the class Teacher, and appropriate number of chaperones.
A Fee waiver must be submitted for your tour, or fees will be apply for all individules ages 16 years and over.
Fall/Winter Tours Reservation Form:
What happens next?
After you have completed and submitted the online reservation form, you will receive a confirmation email with links to handouts and information that all staff, students, and chaperones must review before your trip. Please note, the Fee Waiver is a required form that must be turned in to keep your reservation.
If you have any issues using the Google calendar or form, please e-mail us
The following information has been taken directly from National Park Service Regulations (NPS-22). This is the guideline to be followed in granting education fee waivers. Bona fide educational or scientific institutions may qualify if the following conditions are met. Please Read Carefully. Your application package must contain all of the following.
Current official documentation of recognition of affiliation as an educational institution by a Federal, State or local government entity, or other evidence attesting to educational status is attached (e.g. ACCREDITATION LETTER or an EDUCATIONAL TAX EXEMPT LETTER). It is insufficient to merely state or imply this on official letterhead. Your fee waiver CANNOT be processed without one of these documents submitted with your application.
There must be a direct relationship between the visit purpose and the use of the Park. The visit must be to study some aspect/resource specific to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. A general statement to the effect that the visit is for "educational purposes" is insufficient by itself. An explanation of what the educational purpose entails and how is related to Park resources is required. (Course outlines, lesson plans, or a copy of the curriculum meet this requirement.)
The applicant is providing educational credit hours based on a specific course of instruction. The visit shall not be primarily for recreation purposes. This requirement can be met by stating the course number, description and/or a copy of the catalog description for college courses or an outline of student work required for K-12.
Number of Chaperones allowed are:
20 College students - 1 Chaperone,
12 High School students - 1 Chaperone,
6 Middle School students - 1 Chaperone,
5 Elementary students - 1 Chaperone
This program teaches students about the lives of people who were instrumental to the fur trade and westward expansion. In the Chief Factor’s House, students will learn about the life of the gentlemen. Students learn about Dr. John McLoughlin and his aid for American settlers in the Pacific Northwest. In the Fur Warehouse, students learn about the lives of the French Canadian, Iroquois, Metis, and Hawaiian brigade men. In the Indian Trade Shop, students learn about the lives of the local villagers who came through the shop to trade furs and homemade goods to get supplies.
Tours are 50 minutes long, with an additional 20 minutes needed if you intend to visit the Blacksmith Shop. The tour is designed to accommodate up to three classes of no more than 105 students in total, not including chaperones or teachers.