One of Fort Scott National Historic Site’s volunteers will have the opportunity this weekend to ride in the 127th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., which will feature the National Parks Service’s Find Your Adventure theme in honor of its centennial celebration in 2016.
Barrett Young, a resident of Paola and Fort Scott Community College student, began volunteering at the local historic site in 2007, participating in numerous reenactments and other events at the fort since then.
Young was invited to ride in the opening theme banner float of the parade in recent months by Mike Matthiessen, president of the Tournament of Roses, who met Young in May of 2012 when he and his parents visited the Tournament House in Pasadena. Young will be representing the more than 220,000 volunteers in the National Park Service.
“When I got the email inviting me to ride the theme float in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade, I felt undeserving,” Young said. “At first I did not want to do it because I felt others deserved the honor more than I did.”
But Young said he accepted the invitation when he realized it would give him the opportunity to represent Fort Scott National Historic Site and other Kansas NPS sites.
Young was selected as a result of his support of and passion for the NPS, which has led him to visit all 50 states and 379 of the 409 NPS sites as well as 49 other NPS affiliated sites. He has also completed more than 390 junior and senior ranger programs and promotes the NPS by speaking at community events or organizations and setting up displays, such as at libraries, senior citizen meetings and rotary club meetings.
Young said he hopes to have a career in the NPS, and has ever since he began volunteering and reenacting with his parents.