Do you know a girl who has a lively imagination and an interest in history? Would you like to give her skills and knowledge to use throughout her life, as she learns more about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and being a student in St. Joseph’s Academy, the school for girls which Mother Seton founded.

The Seton Shrine invites young girls ages 9-16 or in grades 4-12 to participate in the Junior History Interpreter Program. It is a two-tiered training program which upon completion classifies the student as a Junior History Interpreter.

Now Accepting Applications!

Applications are open June 1, 2022 until August 31, 2022. Official start date is Sept. 16, 2022. 

About the Program:

What will my child learn?

Public Speaking Techniques 

The Junior History Interpreter Training Program builds confidence as it teaches public speaking skills and techniques which will strengthen verbal communication skills.

19th Century Living and Life Skills  

Lessons and workshops are offered to teach youths what life was like in the 19th century from chores to pastimes, to education. Activities include classes in weaving, penmanship, foreign language, and sewing.

History Interpretation Techniques  

Youths will become part of the Shrine’s history interpreters, apprenticing seasoned Shrine Interpreters. As the year progresses, the youths will research and learn about 19th century students in St. Joseph’s Academy to portray as first-person interpreters, also known as “living historians.”

In-depth history of Mother Seton and Her Legacy 

As youth progress in the JHI training, we hope they will develop an affinity for Elizabeth Ann Seton as they learn about her as a person who like them, connecting her life and legacy to their own life.
The Art of Hospitality

Youths will learn to work as members of a team at a busy historic site, and the value of courtesy, respect, and kindness while interacting with visitors and staff alike.

Basic Professional Hospitality Skills  

Participants will learn to work as part of a team in a museum and historic site, and learn to show respect, courtesy, and hospitality to visitors.  

What does it mean to “interpret” history? 

Living history is an interpretive tool used at the Seton Shrine to tell the history and story of Mother Seton and the early Sisters of Charity.  

Youths in the program will be given opportunities to interpret history in three interchangeable ways:
  • First-person interpretation is role-playing a person from the past by authentically dressing and speaking as if is now that person of the past, ignoring present day indicators. First-person interpreters learn to employ a combination of techniques to interact with the visitors while remaining in character.
  • Second-person interpretation is a form of participation of hands-on activities in conjunction with first- or third-person interpretation.     
  • Third-person interpretation speaks informatively and demonstratively about the past; yet, from a present-day perspective. A third-person interpreter can be in modern clothing or in period clothing and are not in character. 

Who are the Program’s mentors?

The Seton Shrine has a team of interpreters who serve as mentors in the JHI program. The Adult History Interpreters (AHI) have backgrounds in historical interpretation, education, museum studies, and other related fields and each have achieved certification in VIRTUS Safe Environment Training.

What commitment is required?

Dates: September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023

Time: Up to 12 hours per month, including monthly class and workshop

Fee: $380

How can a youth apply to the JHI training program?

We invite girls, ages 9-16 or grades 4-12, to complete the form which includes an essay and send it to:

Education Programs Manager

339 South Seton Avenue

Emmitsburg, MD 21727

The training program only has a few openings each fall, therefore it’s important that applications and essays are completed and submitted by August 31, 2022. The Education Programs Manager will contact applicant’s parents/guardians to set an interview time with the interested youth at the Seton Shrine. Following interviews, decisions will be made and communicated to accepted youths.

JHI Events:

The Junior History Interpreters (JHIs) participate in the following events throughout the year:


Email Bridgett Bassler, Education Programs Manager, at