Cristina Ramirez, Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Here is a better-late-than-never post about Valley Forge’s 4th of July Community Picnic in the park! It is still July, so I can technically still post this without being too late to the game.

For the past few years, Valley Forge has held a community picnic in the park on July 4th. It has everything – food, artillery demonstrations, encampment-themed games, educational (but fun) activities, and lots of people. It is considered an all-hands event, and not just for staff. Half of the event staffers are usually volunteers! You would think it would be hard to get volunteers to go in and work on a day where most people are out celebrating, but our dependable VIPs come back every year. We hope that it’s not just because the event is tons of fun, but we give them a good volunteer experience as well.

We kicked off a partnership with the National Charity League by having their members come and staff several of our activity tents. It was great to have this additional help, since this year we ended up with huge numbers – they estimate that about 3,500 people came to the event! The park ran out of parking. Not one parking lot, but every single one of our overflow lots!

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Volunteers from the Living History program and the National Charity League.

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Volunteer Coordinator, Khiet, poses with volunteers Larry and Erin.

My station for that day was the National Park Service table, where kids of all ages came by to pick up their Passport to Valley Forge and get sworn in as Junior Rangers. We also had a bunch of props for kids to dress up as national park service rangers.

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Me stamping Centennial Junior Ranger certificates while Ranger Kekoa swears in new Junior Rangers.

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Natural Resources interns dress up like park rangers and pose for a photo.

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Me and Ranger Kekoa.

I’d say the community picnic has definitely been one of my favorite events to help out with during my time as a CVA here!