The Next Generation: Youth Employees at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Youth employees and volunteers at Harpers Ferry.

Youth employees, interns, and volunteers were part of the 2012 Theatre in the Park program.

(NPS Photo/Autumn Cook)

Quick Facts


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For decades Harpers Ferry National Historical Park has provided experiences and opportunities for youth in the form of employment and education program offerings. Between 30,000 and 40,000 students, teachers, and chaperones visit the park annually and over 90% of these youth visitors interact with the interpretive rangers through orientations, curriculum programs, specialized programs, or hikes. In the summer months, innumerable families with youth visit Harpers Ferry and have the opportunity to engage in living history programs, Junior Ranger programs, theatre performances, and interactive youth-based programs.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park recruited and hired 35 youth in the summer of 2012. The Youth Conservation Corps, the Youth Partnership Program, and the Youth Intern Program are ways Harpers Ferry employs youth in the park. Through these programs, youth employees work in living history, education, visitor services, and maintenance. These employees learn from permanent staff about the history of the park and how the park operates. Additionally, youth staff plays an important role in serving the visiting public. These talented and enthusiastic youth employees provide guided programs, staff period exhibits, lead education and youth programs, and perform in the park's theatre production.