Youth Engagement Team at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Emily Davenport, left, and Jacey Bowen, the Youth Engagement Team 2018 at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Youth Engagement Team takes Leadership Role at Fort Scott NHS this Summer

Fort Scott KS – Fort Scott National Historic Site (FOSC) Youth Engagement Team planned activities and programs that introduced other youth to the park, shared the stories of Fort Scott,  and built connections to park resources with youth in the surrounding area.

As one observer stated, “youth leading youth is a powerful concept”.

Jacey Bowen, a recent graduate of Uniontown High School in Uniontown KS, and Emily Davenport, a sophomore at Fort Scott High School,  participated in the 2018 Youth Engagement Team.

The Youth Engagement Team is made possible in part through generous contributions by the Irby Family Trust, the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, and the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Activities the 2018 Youth Engagement Team have sponsored or been involved in include:

  • Family Day, July 21 (teaming with four members of the Fort Scott Youth Conservation Corps, they presented living history cooking, gardening, replica small arms demonstrated in the morning, with crafts and games in the afternoon).  About 97 visitors attended the event.
  • Fort Art contest, July 28 (youth participants entered drawings and paintings of the fort, with the winner getting a cash prize)
  • Scavenger Hunt, August 4 (The team created the clues and 53 people participated, running all over the fort trying to find and answer the clues.
  • Writing and directing a play for the Trailblazer program. The Trailblazers program is a week-long series of activities that engage young people (age 9-12) with the mission of the National Park Service. One activity is to stage and perform a play for their parents at the end of the week. The play was one of Jacey’s favorite activities as it allowed her to use her creative skills. Ten youth attended the Trailblazer program total with about 35 people (parents and other family of the Trailblazers) attending the play.
  • Weekly posts on the park’s Instagram page (they acquired 197 followers during the short time they were here).

“The fort has been an integral part of the community for over 150 years, it is imperative that we make youth a priority in what we do today for the next 150 years,” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, FOSC. “This is the third summer we have hosted the program and hope to continue into the future,” continued Boyko.

Jacey will be studying graphic arts at a college this fall in Pensacola, Florida.  She has several works of art displayed around the area, including some murals at a local preschool.

Emily enjoys living history and has attended youth programs in the past at Fort Scott including our weeklong Trailblazer workshop and an overnight Camp of Instruction.

The team was led by NPS Park Guide Paul Goodman, who is in his second season at Fort Scott NHS.


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