Through the Junior Interpreter Program, children between the ages of 10 and 17 can find out what working on a colonial farm is really like. If accepted to the program, Junior Interpreters will portray, in costume, the colonial farm family’s children to enhance the experience of our visitors and help visiting children relate to history. Once you’ve been accepted as a Junior Interpreter, you will be required to work at least one day per month (you will be able to miss one month, plus December, as it is a short month). However, if you work in costume less than six days in a calendar year, and decide to reapply the following year, you will be required to attend another Jr. Interpreter training day.
Please note that this program is not for the faint of heart or those merely looking to play dress-up (though that is a fun part of the program!). Junior Interpreters plant, weed, tend and harvest crops in the fields and kitchen garden, perform maintenance tasks on the 18th Century Farm Site, muck out animal pens, assist with cooking the mid-day meal, and much, much more. Junior Interpreters work in all weather conditions (extreme heat, extreme cold, rain, snow, etc…) and utilize only authentic 18th Century tools and resources, all the while explaining their tasks to our visitors. In short, Junior Interpreters are expected to do everything an 18th Century farm child would have done.
Participation in the Junior Interpreter Program is achieved through an application process. Applicants are required to volunteer behind-the-scenes with their parents for a minimum of eight (8) hours before being permitted to apply. Many of the behind-the-scenes tasks assigned to volunteers are similar to what Junior Interpreters will be doing on the 18th Century Farm Site. This gives applicants a chance to see if this program is really right for them. Tasks assigned while working behind-the-scenes may include cleaning out animal pens, tending greenhouse crops, working in the farm fields as un-costumed volunteers, assisting with property maintenance, set-up or take-down for our Market Fairs and occasional office work, just to name a few examples.
Once the eight hours of behind-the-scenes work has been completed, applicants who are still interested may then complete an application to become a Junior Interpreter. Please note that volunteer applications are subject to acceptance by Farm personnel. A Junior Interpreter must demonstrate the skills necessary to safely work on the Farm Site and therefore will only be accepted into the Junior Interpreter Program if they are able to communicate easily, self-advocate, listen, take direction and complete tasks correctly.
Once accepted into the program, Junior Interpreters must:
- Pay a $100.00 program fee (please note, if a parent volunteers over 18 hours at the Farm, $50.00 of the program fee is refundable. See the program manager for details)
- Schedule an orientation day with Farm Staff
- Purchase an approved costume from the Farm’s seamstress, whose contact information will be provided upon acceptance into the program. (Note: Costumes can vary in price depending upon fabric and style choices. Average prices range from $150.00 to $275.00)
- Email the Youth Volunteer Program Manager with work date requests by the 15th of the month prior to desired work dates. (Ex: Work requests for June must be submitted by the 15th of May for consideration). Please note that staff will not communicate with parents regarding work requests. All contact will be between the volunteer and staff.
If you would like to begin your behind-the-scenes requirements, please have your child email our Youth Volunteer Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange hours.
We look forward to working with you around the Farm!