Fort Larned National Historic Site in need of volunteers

Being a volunteer at Ft. Larned comes with the expected tasks like greeting visitors and guiding them on tours, but it also comes, with a little bit extra.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:19 PM CST
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LARNED, Kan. (KWCH) - Needing volunteer help is nothing new and national parks are no exception. Just outside the town that shares its name, Fort Larned needs volunteers to help the historic site with its efforts to educate and entertain visitors.

Carter Atteberry, a high school senior, has been dressing up to make history come alive at For Larned for nearly two years. He started as a volunteer and is now an intern at Fort Larned.

“I had a few pretty good history teachers in school and they really helped get my drive up. But in seventh grade, I had a teacher and it was my Kansas History class, and we talked a little about the fort, and it got me to really deep dive into history,” Atteberry said.

Being a volunteer at Fort Larned comes with expected tasks that include greeting visitors and guiding them on tours, but it also comes with a little bit extra, playing parts to take visitors back in time more than 150 years. Fort Larned was critical in protecting caravans along the Santa Fe Trail and played a key role in maintaining peaceful relations with Plains Indians, the National Park Foundation explains.

Atteberry said he wants to show others the importance of being a volunteer.

“Just being able to serve your country in more ways than one,” he said. “When people say that, they normally think about joining the military, but there’s a plethora of ways you can help.”

And how much you can learn from doing it.

“Getting to teach people about something that has affected a town like Larned,” Atteberry said. “Growing up in Larned, there’s not much to it, but it’s nice knowing that we were genuinely important at one point in history.”

He described his volunteer service at Fort Larned as “life-changing.”

“Just volunteering out here has helped me realize I want to pursue a career in the parks service, and hopefully someday come back to Fort Larned and give back to what it’s given me,” Atteberry said. “We’re serious when we need to be, but it’s always a good day at Fort Larned, and I’ve always had the time of my life here.”

interested in volunteering at Fort Larned National Historic Site can contact the office at 620-285-6911 or