Annual Open House for Youth Volunteer Programs

A young boy dresses as a fur trade-era clerk and practices copperplate as part of the Young Engage School.

NPS Photo by Michael Liang

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News Release Date: July 25, 2011

Contact: Cassie Anderson, Park Ranger & Historic Programs Coordinator, (360) 816-6247

Annual Open House Scheduled for Youth Volunteer Training Programs

Who:The National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

What:Fort Vancouver National Historic Site invites youth aged 9-18 to learn about opportunities to become costumed interpreters!

Fort Vancouver currently offers two training pathways—the Dame School and Young EngagéSchool—to teach youth volunteers how to speak to the public, demonstrate historic skills, and share their knowledge with visitors.

Modeled after historic schools and other ways in which youth acquired skills and knowledge in the 1840s, the Dame School and Young Engagé Schools today not only teach youth historic trades such as carpentry, sewing, and hearth-cooking, but also inspire students to understand the value of volunteering in their community.

Each school consists of one full Saturday a month, January-June, with homework and reading assigned for each Saturday session. Students are mentored and taught by park staff and volunteers, and after completing one of the schools, are expected to volunteer at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site programs and events. Prospective students are encouraged to attend the Annual Open House for the Dame School and Young Engagé School to chat with current students, see projects completed in the schools, and learn more about the park. Adults interested in assisting with the schools are also invited to attend.

Applications will be available at the Open House.

"The Dame and Young Engagé Schools are completely unique programs in the National Park Service. Youth in the Vancouver-Portland area have a rare opportunity to learn how to provide historic interpretation to the public—and how to have a lot of fun doing it!" --Cassie Anderson, Park Ranger & Historic Programs Coordinator

Where: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 East 5th Street, Vancouver, WA

When:Saturday, July 30th, 2011, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Cost: Entrance fees apply. $3 adult/$5 family. 16 years and younger – free.

For more information about the site, visit the website at or call the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center at 360-816-6230.


Background:  Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve and serves more than one million visitors each year. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

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