Junior History Interpreters - Seton Shrine

Do your kids have a lively imagination and an interest in history?  Do you want to give them skills and knowledge that they will carry with them throughout their entire lives?  The Seton Shrine is happy to invite your family to be part of its Junior History Interpreter training program. It is a two-level training program and upon completion of both levels, the youth will officially be classified as a Junior History Interpreter Volunteer.  

At this time, the training program is intended for girls, grades 4-12 or age 9 to 16.

Applications are currently closed.

Enrollment is closed but will reopen in June 2024.

About the Program:

What will my child learn?

Public Speaking Techniques

This program is designed to build participants’ confidence in addressing live audiences and help them develop verbal communication skills that will benefit them their entire lives.  These include enunciation, projection, eye contact, organization of thought/content, and memorization.

19th Century Living and Life Skills

The lessons and workshops will include activities like children’s pastimes, education, fiber arts, penmanship, fine arts, domestic chores as well dressing in period clothing. 

History Interpretation Techniques

Participants will become part of the Shrine’s history interpreters, learning alongside seasoned Shrine Interpreters.  As the year progresses, participants will learn to portray 19th century St. Joseph’s Academy students as first-person interpreters or “living historians”.

In-depth history of Mother Seton and Her Legacy

By learning the history and legacy of Mother Seton as well as the details of daily life in her time, we hope participants will develop an affinity for Elizabeth Ann Seton and connect her life and legacy to their own life.

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.

Participants will have interchangeable opportunities to employ the three concepts of interpretation:

  • First-person interpretation is role-playing a person from the past by authentically dressing and speaking as if she is now that person of the past, ignoring present day indicators. Participants will learn to employ a combination of techniques to interact with the visitors without breaking character.

  • 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.

Who are the mentors?

The Seton Shrine’s team of interpreters will serve as mentors in the Junior History Interpreter Program.  Each of the Adult History Interpreter (AHI) has a background in historical interpretation, education, museum studies and/or other related fields, and have achieved certification in VIRTUS Safe Environment Training.

What commitment is required? 

Dates: September 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024
Time: 12 hours per month
Fee*: $380
Discounted Fee Structure for additional JHIs who enter the training year, ½ price for 2nd child in household, ¼ price for 3rd child in household, free for any additional children in household.

This training program is a 12-month commitment that begins in September and concludes August 31st the following year.  Participants are expected to invest themselves in the program.  Youth(s) and parents should be motivated and committed.  The recommended hours per month to develop knowledge and skills is 12 hours and includes but not limited to the following:

Instructional Practicum with a Shrine interpreter (two 3-hours shifts per month)

One Class per month (duration 60-90 minutes; schedule Third Friday)

One Workshop per month (duration 3-4 hours; schedule Third Saturday)

 Capstone Experiences

  • Candlelight Evening Tours (end of November into early December)

  • Academy Alive! (First and Second Thursday, Friday, Saturday in May)

  • Annual Birthday Celebration (weekend closest to Mother Seton’s birthday in August)

How does on sign up?

Enrollment to the training program is limited.  To apply, complete the attached form and paragraph, and submit it to Ms. Erica Delp, Education Programs Coordinator, at erica.delp@setonshrine.org.  Applicants and their parents will be invited to an informal interview with Ms. Delp after which a decision regarding acceptance will be made.

Enrollment will reopen in June 2024.

To be considered for an interview, select the “Apply Today” button below and fill out the form and essay must be completed.

JHI Events:

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


Email Erica Delp at erica.delp@setonshrine.org