Adult Volunteer Opportunities
Historic Fort Snelling creates an early 19th century environment by operating a nationally renowned living history program. The Fortís costumed guides conduct tours, demonstrate a variety of crafts, present historical skits and practice military drill and weapons firings to educate and entertain the visiting public.
- Historic Fort: Adult costumed volunteers work in many areas of the Historic Fort. Period crafts people work in the shops demonstrating 19th century carpentry, blacksmithing, and baking. Costumed volunteers may develop and portray specific characters or demonstrate 19th century skills. We are looking for reenactors to deliver tours and programs that focus on the Civil War and World War II. Applicants selected for costumed volunteer placement must complete extensive readings, orientation and testing prior to their activity and are expected to continue reading and study while at the site.
- Fort Snelling History Center: Greet and orient visitors and school groups to the site.
- Capability and interest in authentically portraying military, civilian and American Indian life at Fort Snelling during the early 19th century through historical presentations, costume, appearance, and mannerisms.
- Some prior experience in tour guiding or in oral communication before groups. Conversational ability in a language other than English strongly desired.
- Strong interest in history and willingness to study extensive background materials, manuals and readings provided by the Minnesota Historical Society prior to training sessions and placement.
- Attendance at all orientation seminars and test for costumed positions.
- Availability and willingness to volunteer at least four hours per week between May 1 and October 31 for costumed interpretive volunteers. Participation on some weekends and holidays is generally expected.
- Costuming is usually provided by the site for adult sized volunteers but cannot be guaranteed. If costuming is not available, the site will provide materials and patterns or approved vendors. The site will purchase the costumes from the volunteer at such time as they cease being associated with the program.
General Volunteer Duties
- Assisting in guiding tours, performing skits and demonstrations and explaining duty stations to interpret the history of Fort Snelling to the visiting public. Enthusiastically contacting and interacting with all site visitors.
- Studying historical references to strengthen interpretive background.
- Maintaining historical areas in the fort, site furnishings and personal costumes.
- Assisting in the operation of the gift shop and reception areas.
Volunteer Program Operations
- Historic Fort Snelling volunteers are scheduled in advance as needed. Schedules are tailored to individual and site program needs.Volunteers are limited to a maximum of eighteen (18) hours of volunteer time each week. Volunteers may be scheduled, at their preference, for a half day or a full day experience. Generally two volunteer shifts are scheduled each day: 9 am - 1:15 pm and 1:00 pm - 5:15 pm. Active volunteers receive a discount in Historic Fort Snelling's gift shop and recognition at a special annual ceremony. Volunteer placements at the Fort Snelling History Center require no special costuming.
- Costumes are provided for adult volunteer placements at Historic Fort Snelling. Personal grooming appropriate to the historical period (no facial hair or glasses, proper hair length and style, etc.) is a condition of volunteering.
Volunteer applications are solicited in February. Selected applicants are interviewed in March by site staff. Applicants chosen for volunteer positions participate in the same training as other site staff. This usually includes two weekday evenings and two weekend days in April. Training schedule varies from year to year. Extensive reading of provided materials is required prior to volunteering at the Fort. Volunteers must be willing to serve an average of one day per week during Historic Fort Snelling's public season.