Youth Volunteer Program

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Knitting Youth Volunteer
Blacksmith Youth volunteer
Wheat Youth Volunteer

Mahaffie offers a structured, year-round program that teaches Kansas history, historical processes and public speaking skills to youth ages 10-18. Once selected for the program, you are expected to complete 60 hours of volunteer work over the course of 2018. Apply Today! Applications accepted until February 15, 2018. 

By the end of the program, you will be able to:
  • Begin, continue and end a conversation with adults and children about a topic related to the Mahaffie interpretive themes.
  • Answer questions related to Mahaffie and comfortably say "I don't know".
  • Perform one or more historical processes and share that process to the public.

Youth volunteers will attend monthly training sessions together throughout the year. These sessions count towards the 60 hours and teach:

  • 1860s history  
  • Public speaking skills
  • Historical processes such as sewing, knitting, sawing wood, gardening, caring for animals and more!
  • You will be given take-home assignments to reinforce your learning

You will work, in 1860s clothing, during the regular living history season and be matched with a Mahaffie Site Guide each day.  You will assist them in facilitating guest experiences and performing essential site tasks. At the end of your session, you will complete a brief journal entry reflecting on your day. 

What you can expect of us:
  • Unique, hands-on learning opportunities! This is your chance to learn to sew, lead a goat, churn butter, grain wood and more!
  • A safe and supportive environment which to grow and make mistakes. You will be with a Mahaffie Site Guide ensuring close supervision, support and attention.
  • The great appreciation of Mahaffie Site Guides and staff.
  • Timely communication and good program organization.
  • A whole lot of fun!
What we expect of you:
  • Respect of the Mahaffie Site Guides, guests, animals, and historic site property.
  • Enthusiasm and a positive attitude, regardless of assigned task. Remember, many activities take place outdoors and you will be in 1860s clothing. 
  • Punctuality and good communication, especially regarding scheduling. 
  • 60 hours of volunteer work
What is the process?
  • Applications accepted until February 15, 2018.  
  • Mahaffie staff will interview you before submitting 12 applicants for the program. 
  • The mandatory kick-off dinner for you and your family is Tuesday, March 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A second mandatory training for you only is Saturday, April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Subsequent training sessions will be scheduled according to your availability. This includes:
    • Two mandatory training events.
    • Three additional training opportunities throughout the year.
    • Two hours a month studying training materials and completing assignments on your own.
    • Payment of $25 administrative fee to cover supplies, snacks and 1860s clothing.
    • Completion of a journal entry after each session to encourage self-reflection.
What this means for previous youth volunteers:
  • Any youth volunteer under the age of 16 who wishes to continue volunteering must either:
    • Be a part of the youth volunteer program or
    • Volunteer with a parent onsite.


Mahaffie reserves the right to end its relationship with you if you are unable to meet expectations. Additionally, you have the right to end your relationship with Mahaffie at any time.