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Monday, April 15, 2024
Student summer jobs open up at Fort George
The Friends of Fort George has hired more than 400 students to work with them over the past 37 years, working as historical re-enactors or at the gift shop. SUPPLIED

That time of the year is here once again: the Friends of Fort George is now accepting applications for student summer positions at Fort George National Historic Sites and Brock’s Monument.

For the past 37 years of its existence, the Friends of Fort George have given young people in Niagara the chance to work at its key historic sites as hundreds of people visit every year during the tourism season.

To date, more than 400 students have worked at Fort George and Brock’s Monument, primarily as historical re-enactors, but also at Fort George’s gift shop and as heritage interpreters providing on-site tours.

Most students hired by the Friends of Fort George are employed as members of the infantry squad.

“These students play an important role in enhancing the visitor experience at Fort George,” states a media release from the group.

Dressed as period soldiers, these students are taught military discipline and order, they receive lessons in the history of the fort and the town so they can answer questions from locals and tourists alike.

As well, they are taught how to march, work with flintlock muskets, and the proper handling of black powder.

One former student, Craig Burney, was first told when he started working at Fort George that it would be “the best job you’ll ever have.”

“He could not have been more correct,” Burney said. “Beyond the immersive experiences of embodying history, with colourful uniforms, drums, cannon, and fire smoke, there is no singular experience I have accumulated that has done so much to broaden and enrich my understanding of Canada, its people and the world we live in.”

Students are also hired to work at the Fort George gift shop, which the Friends of Fort George says is one of its most successful fundraising initiatives and allows students to gain retail experience at a national historic site.

Also being hired are heritage interpreters, who work at Brock’s Monument at the Battle of Queenston Heights National Historic Site.

They provide guided tours to thousands of school children each year, monitor the climbing of the steps and oversee the museum and gift shop at the base of the monument.

Gavin Watson, a student working at Brock’s Monument in 2023, said of his experience: “Brock’s Monument has been an amazing and humbling experience in welcoming students from around Ontario, tourists from around the world, and locals who have spent their entire life looking at the monument and visit regularly.”

Andrew Laliberte, another interpreter, said it has been a great way to learn to interact with people from all walks of life.

“Some are more interested or knowledgeable than others, but learning how to share such important and evolving histories with everyone is one of the most gratifying experiences,” Laliberte said. “It is especially rewarding when they become interested and engaged with us, the stories, or the imposing experience of the monument, and leave with more knowledge about Canada and its peoples.”

The Friends of Fort George are currently accepting applications for students interested in working in the infantry squad, the gift shop and Brock’s Monument.

For more information on available positions, visit the group’s website at friendsoffortgeorge.ca.

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