• Tour Guide/Interpretation • Visitor Information
Photo Courtesy of NPS
Historic weapon volunteers must be at least 18 years old to fire historic small arms or artillery.
Travel the roads to Santa Fe!
Nine original stone buildings still stand guard in Pawnee County, Kansas. In the late 1860s, they were the center of a notable “soldier town,” the first assignment of the Buffalo Soldiers, the site of two Indian agencies, and an important stop for Anglo and Hispanic freighters on the Santa Fe Trail. Today, staff and volunteers share the role Fort Larned played in an era of conflict and rapid change.
Living history organizations and groups are welcome to take part in the Fort Larned volunteer program.
Are you ready for life at a frontier post?
Portray a soldier of the 3rd Infantry or other unit (e.g. 10th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) or 12th Kansas Volunteern Infantry) stationed at or visiting here in the 1860s. Other appropriate living history roles may also be available.
Dress in a period clothing in temperatures up to 100 F with high humidity. Fort Larned can provide 1860s uniforms or volunteers may wear personal living history clothing with the approval of the volunteer coordinator.
Learn and follow authentic 1860s parade and drill commands.
Artillery: Demonstrate proper skills, understand commands given, and adhere to all National Park Service historic weapons safety regulations during the firing of a M1841 mountain howitzer.
Small arms: Demonstrate proper skills, understand commands given, and adhere to all National Park Service historic weapons safety regulations during the firing of weapons in use at the fort during the 1860s (e.g. Springfield Model 1861 rifle-musket, Springfield Model 1866 rifle, etc.).
Assist fort staff in demonstrating weapons to audiences of 100 or more during living history events.
Help maintain visitor, volunteer, and staff safety.
Goals of the Position
Are you ready to help others step back in time?
Help the public find emotional and intellectual connections to the people whose lives changed along the Santa Fe Trail.
Discover stories of change, conflict, competition, and cooperation in the American West.
Develop the skills to fire and care for multiple types of historic weapons safely.
Demonstrate the use and meaning of weapons to large audiences.
Familiarity with basic firearm safety procedures.
Public speaking with mid-sized (12-25 people) or larger groups.
Passion for Western history and historic weapons.
Familiarity with 19th-century weapons and their safe use and maintenance.
Benefits to the Volunteer
Become a better living historian!
Gain experience in a national park setting.
Improve your public speaking skills.
Discover and share local and national stories that still matter.
Practice with historic muzzle- and breech-loading weapons in an authentic historic environment.
Firing demonstrations and drill take place outdoors with little protection from wind or sun. Other talks are usually presented inside historic buildings.
Most buildings lack climate control and can be very warm to hot in the summer and cool to cold in the winter.
Daytime outdoor highs can reach 100 F or more during the summer or stay below 32 F in the winter.
At least one weekend event per year (8 hours).
Assistance at multiple dates from Memorial Day to Labor Day and/or a major living history event are encouraged.
HOUSING & AMENITIES Type: Trailer/RV Pads Description: RV pads are available to non-resident, long-term volunteers who can commit to 24 hours per week during the peak season (April to October).
A limited number of short-term bunks and cots are also available for other volunteers traveling long distances. No other housing is available on-site.