Dame School and the Young Engagé School
The Youth Interpretive Training Programs of the Dame School and the Young Engagé School are designed to expose students between the ages of 9 and 18 to the handwork and living skills of the 19th century. Recognizing the need to pass on historic skills to the next generation, Fort Vancouver staff and volunteers help the young people selected for these programs to develop their ability to relate the past to visitors who come to the site.
Youth Volunteer Interpreter Trainees participate in almost all events at Fort Vancouver, McLoughlin House, and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Their ability to share with young visitors on an equal basis helps history come alive for everyone.
Since many activities during the training occur in full view of visitors, trainees and instructors wear mid 19th century reproduction attire, which is provided through the Period Costume and Textile Department. The daily class luncheon, prepared in the Fort Vancouver kitchen, features foods appropriate to the historical period, and is served at a community table.
Classes prepare young participants to serve in the following year as Volunteer Interpreters under the watchful eyes of school instructors and the Fort Vancouver staff at both the Fort and the McLoughlin House in Oregon City.