Monterey Pass Battlefield Institute’s Education Programs

christmas 023Plan a Field Trip

Thank you for your interest in Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum. This overview of the park’s educational programs and facilities is designed to assist you in planning your visit to the battlefield. You may want to enhance your student’s visit by participating in a program led by the park staff. Educational programs are curriculum-based, interactive, hands-on, and free of charge. However, gratuity of $25.00 or more is required for the interpreter on duty. We offer these programs to school groups, youth groups, summer camps, home schooled and other educational groups. Many of these programs can be modified to fit your student’s needs.

Planning Your Visit

Visitor Center/Museum: This facility houses Civil War artifacts from the Battle of Monterey Pass as well as well as artifacts of the period. Interpretive panels in the museum orientate park visitors about the importance of the Battle of Monterey Pass. We do offer several PowerPoint presentations that tell the story of Monterey Pass during the American Civil War. If your group would like to visit the museum, please email us ahead and we can open the museum for your group. Students must be chaperoned at all times.

When planning your trip, please keep in mind there are no food facilities, so please plan ahead. The Monterey Pass Battlefield Park is a trash free park. Please bring extra trash bags during your visit so that you are able to take any trash that you create with you. All oversize vehicles such as buses or trucks with trailers must park at Rolando Woods Lions Club Park off of Charmian Road.

To schedule a program or if you have a question about a program, please contact John A. Miller at jamiller@montereypassbattlefield.org. The park staff presents the following educational programs.

Educational Programs

Union Soldiers Dressed In Gray?: Several thousand men from New York defended Pennsylvania and Maryland during the Confederate invasion. Students and adults will obtain a better understanding of what life was like for the New York State National Guardsman in Maryland and Pennsylvania by interacting with a Living Historian. The Civil War Living Historian will show the group many items using museum quality reproductions, including the famous gray uniform, accouterments, and personal items. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 1-8.

Leading by Example, Leadership during the Battle of Monterey Pass: This program is a tour of the decision making process by those Civil War leaders who fought at the Battle of Monterey Pass. Explore the profiles of General Judson Kilpatrick and General George A. Custer who fought for the Union. Also explore the mindset of Captain George Emack, who commanded a small Confederate cavalry company, and how he kept the Union cavalry at bay for several hours. Talks will also feature insight on General William Jones and Major John Harman. Program time is approximately an hour to an hour and half. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 9-12.

The Day and the Life of a Civil War Soldier: Students will obtain a better understanding of what life was like for a Civil War soldier by interacting with a Civil War Living Historian. The Living Historian will show students many items using museum quality reproductions consisting of uniforms, accouterments, and personal items. Using these items, students will be able to learn what soldiers from the Civil War era would have worn, carried, and used on a daily basis, and compare that to a modern day soldier. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 1-8.

Jine the Cavalry: Students will obtain a better understanding of what life was like for the Civil War cavalry soldier by interacting with a Civil War Living Historian. The Civil War Living Historian will show students many items using museum quality reproductions consisting of uniforms, accouterments, horse equipment, and personal items used by cavalrymen. Using reproduction items, students will be able to learn what a cavalry soldier from the Civil War era would have worn, carried, and used on a daily basis, including his responsibilities to his horse. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 1-8.

The Civil War Uniforms of 1863: This program offers a chance for those interested in what the armies that entered into Pennsylvania were wearing. Many myths have been told over the years about the appearance of the Confederate and Union armies, and this program tackles many those myths. This program will also break down the depot system vs. state issuances. A living historian will show many museum quality reproductions of clothing that were issued during the days leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg. Learn why both the Union and Confederate armies were in tatters by the time they met on the fields of Gettysburg on July 1st, 1863. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes.

The Day and the Life of a Civil War Officer: The students will obtain a better understanding of the role that line officers played during the Civil War, and the affect they had on their men during battle and while on campaign. When studying the Civil War, the impact that the average officer in both the Union and Confederate Armies had in carrying out orders and taking care of the enlisted men is often overlooked. Using museum quality reproductions, the Civil War Living Historian will show students many items that an officer would have used, including uniforms, accouterments, and personal items. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 1-8.

Life of a Civil War Soldier, Hands on History: The Hands on History transmits 19th Century soldiers’ experiences to 21st Century students. The goal of the Hands on History program is to help students learn about the life of a common Civil War soldier and the Battle of Monterey Pass through interpretation and touch and feel of a variety of items that the Civil War soldier carried. Students will be able to identify the clothing and equipment of a Civil War soldier. Group size:  Up to 20 students. Time: 30-60 minutes. Grades 1-8.

Packages from Home: This program shows the types of items that were sent from the home front to the soldiers serving on the front lines during the American Civil War. Using museum quality reproductions the Living Historian will interpret many things on display from clothing, soap, food, and stationary items, to bandages. Using these items, students will be able to learn what civilians from the Civil War era would have sent to their loved ones on the front lines. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 2-8.

Monterey Pass in a Box: This program is a visual tool that allows participants to see and understand how the battle of Monterey Pass was fought. Using ropes for roads, insignia for troops, and models for buildings, participants will have a better understanding of how wide spread the Battle of Monterey Pass really was. This program has been preformed for over 7 years and is a great program for Groups Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 8-12.

The Road to Appalachia: Students will learn about the Monterey Pass area during the mid 1700’s. Prior to the French and Indian War, Monterey Pass was a major transportation route that led to Appalachia. After the Revolutionary War, roads were built as settlers settled into the area. Also, Mason and Dixon established the boundary that settled a land dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania which became the unofficial line that separated north and south. Using museum quality reproductions, the Living Historian will show students many items and clothing that a civilian from 1750 would have worn and used during this time period and some of the challenges that faced. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 1-8.

Monterey Pass during World War Two: Students will learn about the area during World War Two and the military exercises that took place. Since Camp Richie is nearby we will share stories of what it was like to be in “Hillbilly” country. Using museum quality reproductions, the Living Historian will show students many items and clothing that an American solder would have worn as well as what the average German soldier would have worn. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 30 minutes. Grades 8-12.

You’re A Refugee: During the Confederate invasion, the people of Waynesboro had very little warning of the invading army. Grabbing what they could such as food, valuables and property, the people took refuge at Monterey Pass before occupation of the town occurred. Group size:  Up to 20 students. Time: 45 minutes. Grades 5-8.

Monterey Pass Battlefield Volunteer Interpretive and Docent Positions

Volunteer Park Ranger: 4 positions available

Volunteer Park Ranger Responsibilities:
Enforce the rules and regulations of the park through compliance. Check the security cameras throughout the park. Conduct a walk through of the park at least two times a day or as needed. Pick up any trash on the museum grounds and throughout the park grounds itself. Must have good communication and public speaking skills. Volunteers in this position must attend both the Museum Docent and Battlefield Interpreter trainings. Provide historical interpretive tours, talks, and education programming as needed. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.*

Battlefield Interpreter training:
New candidates: 3 full days
Returning Volunteer Rangers: 1 full day
Training Dates will be conducted in March of every year.

Museum Docents training:
New candidates: 1 full day
Returning Volunteer Rangers: 1/2 day
Training Dates will be conducted in March of every year.

Hours of Operation:
Open weekends from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Time Commitment:
Volunteer Rangers are expected to schedule a minimum of 2-3 full days per month during the months of April through November.

For more information on how you can join the museum exhibits & interpretation, events, programs, and education committee, please contact the park.


Volunteer Battlefield Interpreter: 8 positions available

Volunteer Battlefield Interpreter 12342662_10207055969216359_1439340513697996874_nResponsibilities:
Provide historical interpretive tours, talks, and education programming. Good research, communication and public speaking skills are required. Volunteers in this position must attend a historic weapons training and become familiar with our living history standards. Volunteers must be 18 years or older. *

Battlefield Interpreter training:
New candidates: 3 full days (See below)

  • Historic Weapons Training
  • Living History Guidelines and Standards
  • How to Put Programs Together

Returning interpreters: 1 full day

  • Refresher Course

Training Dates will be conducted in March of every year.

Hours of Operation:
Open weekends from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

13516345_608211539342480_4187472487404660179_nSeasonal Time Commitment:
Interpreters are expected to schedule a minimum of 1 full day per month during the months of May through October. Programs times would be scheduled between the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Must abide by the historic weapons policy and authenticity standards.
Special events, programs, living history, tours and educational opportunities as they rise.

For more information on how you can join the museum exhibits & interpretation, events, programs, and education committee, please contact the park.


Volunteer Museum Docents Responsibilities: 4 positions available

Volunteer position requires working with the public, opening and closing the Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum, cleaning the museum and restrooms, grounds maintenance, record daily visitor statistics, and provide assistance to visitors at the park information table. Knowledge of the battle and artifact exhibits is helpful, and will be covered in seasonal training. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.*

christmas 023Museum Docents training:
New candidates: 1 full day

  • Docent and Visitor Services 101

Returning interpreters: 1/2 day

  • Refresher Course

Training Dates will be conducted in March of every year.

Hours of Operation:
Open weekends from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Seasonal Time Commitment:
Docents are expected to schedule a minimum of 1 day per month during the months of April through November when the museum closes.

For more information about becoming a museum docent, please contact the park.

*The Monterey Pass Battlefield Park & Museum reserves the right to decline any application based upon the museum’s current needs and resources.