• Other • Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information
Photo Courtesy of NPS
Does the thought of actually living history by marching and drilling in a wool uniform during the hot summer months inspire you? Are you willing to learn original manuals and move heavy pieces of artillery in the blazing sun? Honor and represent those original Defenders who so gallantly and selflessly preserved Baltimore and inspired our national anthem by portraying them on the original ramparts!
Individuals with a high level of physical stamina help visitors understand the history of Fort McHenry by dressing in period correct clothing representing a soldier or civilian of 1814 and performing everyday duties and tasks. Military living history volunteers interpret the daily life of the fort, talking with visitors about barrack life, rations, drill, guard mount, and the battle in 1814. Civilian living history volunteers interpret the social life of Baltimore during the battle, the tavern that existed onsite in 1814, and the role that women played as laundresses to the garrison.
Volunteers are trained by black powder specialists on how to fire muskets and artillery. Musically inclined volunteers may apply to the Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps. Civilian volunteers boil laundry and give cooking demonstrations over open fires. Additional duties and roles are discussed during the interview process.
Working Conditions: Volunteers wear wool uniforms in high humidity and temperatures that regularly hit 98 degrees or above. Long periods of marching and drilling with heavy muskets and artillery are required. Bending and heavy lifting is required.
Equipment: All uniforms, weapons and other equipment will be provided by the National Park Service. Any personally owned items used by volunteers must be approved in advance by the park.
Requirements: A willingness to engage in public speaking is a must! Our living history volunteers are required to donate ten weekend days (Saturday or Sunday) over the course of our summer program, which generally runs from Memorial Day Weekend to the second weekend of September. The Saturday of our anniversary weekend in September is the one required day for all members.