Thursday, June 20, 2024

Washington Trust, National Park Service seeking teens to attend free summer camp

Deadline for applications extended to May 31


The Youth Heritage Project (YHP) has been organizing camps in state national parks, historic districts, and other locations since 2014. This year's camp will take place at the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, also known as Hanford Nuclear Site, where participants will not only learn about history but also engage with science, ethics, tribal relations, site cleanup, and environmental stewardship.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, a statewide nonprofit organization, and the National Park Service have designed to promote collaboration and diverse perspectives to historic and cultural preservation of the nation’s most important places. Clara Moore, a high school sophomore from Mercer Island who attended last year's camp in Port Townsend at Fort Worden State Historical Park, emphasizes the importance of collaboration between students and local organizations and is looking forward to participating in the Hanford camp. While the camp organizers acknowledge the devastating impact of plutonium production at the site on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they believe it is crucial to understand and recognize the implications of American history, both domestically and overseas.

The Hanford Site was originally inhabited by multiple Tribal nations and communities, and the camp organizers ask students to reflect on how the land has been stewarded and used for such a grim purpose. They also ask difficult questions about how to reconcile the history of labor force especially with African American and Latinx communities of the past and present Tri-Cities, recognizing the impact of this history and finding solutions to current issues that impact the community around the site.

The Youth Heritage Project is a free program for selected high school students (including incoming freshman to graduating seniors) and is managed through a partnership with the National Park Service, the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, the Department of Energy, Tribal Nations, and local community partners. The overnight camp is will run from July 18 to July 21 and the deadline for student applications has been extended to May 31. For more information, visit


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