This position is primarily on-site at the Chalmette Battlefield and is administered by the park’s Living History Coordinator. The goal of the living history program is to help visitors make intellectual and emotional connections to the historic resources of Chalmette Battlefield through demonstrations, talks and hands-on activities The primary goal of Living History Volunteer who portrays a Camp Follower or Civilian Woman of New Orleans is to provide a safe, authentic interpretation of the role of women in the War of 1812 and the Gulf Campaigns. Living history volunteers will learn about the War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans along with a variety of skills such as outdoor cooking, washing laundry, sewing, carding wool and cotton and spinning, embroidery, knitting and interpretive methods as part of their volunteer training. The park may provide period correct clothing and other equipment. This position is year-round and open to anyone with an interest in history and interacting with national park visitors.
Benefits to Park Volunteer:
Experience working in a national park setting
Accumulate community service hours to meet many local university graduation requirements
Enhance public speaking and communication skills
Volunteers will be required to attend a series of park sponsored learning sessions which will include movies, lectures and demonstrations.
Upon completing the training, volunteers will develop an interpretive program which might include a historic skills demonstrations or short talks.
Volunteers will participate and present their program at the park during designated living history days and at the annual Battle of New Orleans anniversary.
Volunteers will develop and implement tailgate safety meeting for each of their programs.
Volunteers will sign and submit a Volunteer Service Agreement and a Photo Release form prior to participating in park programs.
Volunteers must wear all period appropriate natural fiber clothing (wool, cotton, silk, linen, hemp), during all programs to ensure authenticity and safety. Clothing may be provided either by the site Historic Clothing Department, or if the volunteer provides their own clothing, it must be approved by the Living History Coordinator.
No previous experience is needed. Open fire cooking and camping knowledge is desirable.
Volunteer will create a short interpretive program based on information from on-site training, library and on-line resources, and observing fellow experienced volunteers. The Living History Coordinator will review the volunteer’s program for content, accuracy, and presentation.
Living History Female Camp Followers work under the supervision of the park Living History Coordinator.
The volunteer will be lifting heavy objects, using sharp objects and cooking over an open fire during the spring, summer, fall and winter months. The volunteers should come prepared to present living history demonstrations in all types of weather conditions.