Application Information and Program Calendar

Please bear with us as we work with the Young Engagé School & Dame School to explore options for administering our 2023 program. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this is uncharted territory for us all, and we are actively monitoring the constantly evolving public health situation. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we work to best understand our next steps. Please check back for updates! To learn more about the park’s current operating status, visit our current conditions page.

Are you a candidate?

In the Dame and Young Engagé School, we strive to be safe, encourage learning, have fun, and respect everything and everyone around us. To apply for one of the 16 available positions in the living history schools in the fall of 2019, applicants must:

  • be 10 to 18 years of age as of January 1, 2020.
  • have an interest in history, especially nineteenth century hands-on skills and lifeways.
  • possess a desire to share what they learn in school with the visiting public.
  • have a desire to practice to improve skills.
  • commit to time for the entire class series. This includes one Saturday a month for five months and at least fifty hours of volunteer time in the next year.
  • be able to be on site, dressed in period costume attire (provided), and prepared to begin lessons promptly at 9:30 am each day the class meets.
  • bring a positive attitude and outlook to class and be open to instruction and friendly companionship with other participants.
  • demonstrate a caring and respectful attitude toward other participants and the public, including aiding in sharing acquired skills with others when requested.
  • remit $135 to cover class and material costs, upon acceptance.

Due to the hands-on nature of the coursework, only 16 students are accepted into either program each year.

NOTE: Integral to the program is the requirement for students to participate in public programs at Fort Vancouver NHS. All participants are expected to serve as interpreters for the following year, practicing what they have learned under the watchful eye of the school instructors and Fort Vancouver staff. A minimum commitment of 50 hours of volunteer time over the following 12 months is required after the school year ends.


How to Apply

Application packets for the 2019-2020 Living History Schools will be accepted until 5:00 pm on October 1, 2019.

To apply, please submit an application packet that includes the following:

  • A National Park Service Volunteer Application form, which may be obtained at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, the fort Contact Station, the McLoughlin House, or online.
  • Indication of a preferred program, either Young Engagé School or Dame School.
  • TWO letters of recommendation from community members, such as a school teacher, sport or dance coach, minister, or close personal friends. Each letter should state how long they have known you, in what capacity, and why you would be a good candidate for the program. No recommendation letters from immediate family for this section, please.
  • One letter of support from your parent or guardian, stating that your family members understand the commitment required in terms of transportation, homework, and long term participation. Also, this letter should describe why the candidate would be a good fit for the program.
  • A handwritten letter from the candidate requesting admittance, including the prospective student's impression of what they will be doing in school, what their interests in history and/or historic skills might be, and why they would like to be selected to participate in the school and as volunteer for Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. This letter should be written by the applicant his/herself.

All items must be gathered into one packet and delivered to Fort Vancouver NHS by September 30, 2019. The packet may be hand delivered or sent by mail to the park's administrative headquarters at:

ATTN: Youth Volunteer Program /Dame & Engage School
Fort Vancouver NHS

612 East Reserve Steet
Vancouver, WA 98661

If accepted, please promptly return the follow-up package containing the signed acceptance, permission documents, and the $135 per student fee for the program.


Youth Interpreter School Schedule: 2019-2020

Please note that the orientation dates and the last Second Year date have changed. (Updated October 2019)
Activity Date
Applications due September 30, 2019
Student orientation option #1 November 30, 2019
Student orientation option #2 December 7, 2019
First Year School dates January 11, 2020
February 1, 2020
March 7, 2020
April 4, 2020
May 2, 2020
Second Year School dates January 18, 2020
February 8, 2020
March 14, 2020
April 11, 2020
May 9, 2020
June 6, 2020
Graduation potluck August 8, 2020
Summer School TBA


Last updated: September 28, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 Hatheway Road, Bldg 722
Vancouver, WA 98661


360 816-6230

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