Living History – Historic Weapons Demonstrator Volunteer

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Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

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Battle of New Orleans Reenactment

Living History - Historic Weapons Demonstrator Volunteer

Description of Duties:

This position is primarily on-site at the Chalmette Battlefield and is administered by the park’s 19 th Century Historic Weapons Supervisor. The park provides reproduction weapons, safety training, as well as firing ranges, ammunition, and cleaning supplies. The park will attempt to supply period correct historic clothing when feasible. The primary goal of Living History Historic Weapons Demonstrator Volunteer is to provide safe, authentic interpretation of site specific weapons technology. The secondary role of the Volunteer is to assist Chalmette with firing weapons during public programs and special events. This position is year-round and open to anyone over the age of 16 that has successfully completed the black powder safety training course. Individuals under the age of 16 can participate in a weapons firing demonstration, but are prohibited from actual firing a weapon.

Benefits to park Volunteer:

* Personal enrichment and experience working in a national park setting

* Knowledge, skills and abilities on the use of history weapons

Goal/Outcome of job:

  • The primary responsibility of the Living History Historic Weapons Demonstrator Volunteer is to interpret to the public the role of historic weapons technology at Chalmette National Battlefield, while maintaining a strict environment of safety at all times.
  • Both before and after weapon demonstrations, volunteers will be working within close proximity to the public, so they must be comfortable interacting with the public and answering questions, or directing more specific questions to the Historic Weapons Supervisor.
  • Volunteers must attend and complete an annual Black Powder Weapons Safety Training Program.
  • Volunteers must have a current Volunteer Service Agreement on file and sign the safety agreement before participating in the program.
  • Volunteers will wear ear and eye protection at all times during programs.
  • Volunteers must wear all natural fiber clothing (wool, cotton, silk, linen, or hemp), as well as a hat or head covering during all weapons programs. Shirts and coats must be long sleeve with the sleeves down at all times during the program. Clothing will be provided either by the site Historic Clothing Department, or if the volunteer provides their own clothing, it must be approved by the Historic Weapons Supervisor.
  • All Living History Historic Weapons Demonstrator Volunteers will act as individual range safety officers, immediately reacting in an appropriate manner to all potential or real safety violations, and are fully authorized to stop the program as circumstances warrant.
  • Volunteers will show proper use and respect of all weapons and accoutrements, as well as strictly adhering to all range and public safety requirements.
  • Volunteers will assist in the set-up and break-down of all firing ranges, as well as the cleaning of the weapons after demonstrations.
  • Volunteers will assist the Historic Weapons Supervisor to provide safe, interpretive, and informative programs to the public.

Knowledge/Skills/Experience Desired:

  • No previous experience is needed, but basic firearms knowledge is desirable.
  • Minimum age to participate in the Historic Weapons Program is 16 years of age.
  • Volunteer should create a short interpretive program based on information researched from weapons training, on-site, off-site resources and observing fellow experienced volunteers. The Historic Weapons Supervisor will review the volunteer’s program for content, accuracy, and presentation.

Special Requirements:


Living History Historic Weapons Demonstrator Volunteers work under the supervision of the Historic Weapons Supervisor only. If the Historic Weapons Supervisor is off site, or otherwise unavailable, volunteers will not conduct a program. No exceptions.


Guidelines include established National Park Service weapons program procedures, as well as all normal NPS procedures, program objectives, interpretive guidelines, legislative mandates, management policies, park practices and supervisory mandates. Volunteers shall exercise sound judgment in identifying problems and safety violations and reporting them to their supervisor.

Work Environment:

The volunteer will be working in an outdoor environment in close proximity to highly explosive black powder. Volunteer must dress for the conditions and no safety exceptions will be made for inappropriate cold or hot weather conditions.

Supervisors: Ron Merrill

Project Duration: Year round

Hours per month: Varies

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Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & PreserveChalmette Battlefield8606 West St. Bernard HighwayChalmette, LA 70043



  • General Education
  • History
  • Acting
  • Theater Arts
  • Anthropology


  • People 55+


  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 17
  • Orientation or Training
  • Hours per month: Ongoing Hours per week: varies

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