Visit The Gettysburg Battlefield | “Great Task” Youth Leadership Program at Gettysburg National Military Park Now Accepting Applications
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  1. April 4, 2017
    “Great Task” Youth Leadership Program at Gettysburg National Military Park Now Accepting Applications


    CONTACT: Cindy Small, Chief Marketing Officer, Gettysburg Foundation

    “Great Task” Youth Leadership Program
    at Gettysburg National Military Park Now Accepting Applications

    Gettysburg, PA (April 4, 2017) – Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg National Military Park are now accepting applications for the Great Task Youth Leadership Experience – a new two-day intensive experiential leadership program that asks high-school students or those in youth groups to apply leadership lessons from the Battle of Gettysburg to their own lives, schools and communities.

    The program draws its name from a phrase in President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, “It is for us, the living rather, to be dedicated here to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ...” It is open to leaders of service-oriented school or scout troops; after-school or weekend youth programs; or community groups for 7th through 12th grade students.

    The Great Task Leadership Experience goes beyond the standard curriculum-based field trip. Through a two-day excursion to Gettysburg–and specially tailored pre- and post-visit activities–the program focuses on the decisions, the actions and, most importantly, the leadership demonstrated by ordinary individuals faced with extraordinary challenges during the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. By examining and then recreating these challenges, students will be able to identify and develop their own leadership skills– and identify their own challenges – and be inspired to use the lessons learned to make a positive impact in their own communities or schools.

    “History can do so much more than just instruct– it also can inspire civic engagement,” said Barbara Sanders, Education Specialist, of Gettysburg National Military Park. The Great Task
    Experience is an immersive experience designed to create that spark through the study of history on the very ground where it happened.”

    Participating students will work closely with National Park Service Rangers and Park Educators to learn how soldiers, doctors and ordinary civilians rose to the occasion and demonstrated great leadership when confronted with the crises experienced during the Battle of Gettysburg.

    As they apply, teachers and youth leaders should identify their own special great task. Examples include: creating an anti-bullying program in school; setting up a special tutoring center for children; cleaning up and maintaining a community playground; or organizing young volunteers at a local food bank, among many other possibilities. Then students will participate in the Great Task excursion to Gettysburg and afterward report back on how they are applying the lessons they learned to their specifically chosen great task.

    Participants’ accomplishments will be recognized on the Great Task Wall inside the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, which more than 1 million people visit each year. Their efforts also will be shared on the Park’s social media pages.

    In addition, each participating group will be nominated for the Great Task Student Leadership Award. This new annual award will be presented to the leaders of the best community leadership projects of the year. Great Task Award Winners will be invited back to participate in the Dedication Day ceremony on Nov. 19th, the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The winning submission will also receive $500 in grants to support their community project.

    Great Task Excursions are offered every weekend from mid-July to mid-October. Youth leaders can apply online by going to and clicking on the Great Task Youth Leadership Experience. Accommodation grants and financial assistance are available for qualifying groups. Please see the Great Task application for additional information.

    About Gettysburg Foundation and Gettysburg National Military Park

    Gettysburg Foundation is a non-profit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg. The Foundation raised funds for and now operates the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, which opened in April 2008. In addition to operating the Museum and Visitor Center, the Foundation has a broad preservation mission that includes land, monument and artifact preservation and battlefield rehabilitation—all in support of the National Park Service’s goals at Gettysburg.

    Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects, and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, and their commemorations. The Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves and interprets the home and farms of the Eisenhower family as a fitting and enduring memorial to the life, work, and times of General Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, and to the events of far-reaching importance that occurred on the property.

    categories: Press Releases