Time Traveling in Delaware State Parks

Time Travelers is a “brand” for activities and events in Delaware State Parks that have a cultural heritage or historic focus.

Time Travelers are also volunteer members of the public who give their time to assist the professional archaeologists and historians working in state parks with research projects to protect and study our cultural heritage. Time Travelers have recovered c. 2500-year old Wolf Neck prehistoric pottery from a site near Laurel and historic artifacts used by 18th-century millworker families in Yorklyn. Sound exciting? It is!

The Time Travelers program offers hands-on experience in the field, the laboratory and the archives, depending on the interests and skills of the individual. No experience is necessary; participants need only an interest in the past and the ability to follow directions from experienced personnel. However, structured classroom training sessions are held that provide the basic background necessary to work successfully with state parks staff and to take part in planned research programs in our parks and other DNREC properties. The classroom training sessions involve illustrated lecture and hands-on training in basic archaeological field skills. Classes last about three hours. Each newly-qualified Time Traveler will receive an embroidered Time Traveler patch. More advanced topics are also offered from time to time as well.

The program is open to anyone over the age of 14, but minors under 16 need to be accompanied by an adult. Younger students may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

Ready to join? The first step is to register as a state parks volunteer by visiting our Volunteer page to apply. Follow the link for “Individual or Group Volunteer,” indicate that you are an individual volunteer, fill in your personal details, and in the “Why are you interested in volunteering?” box indicate that you are interested in being a “New Time Traveler.” Once registered as a volunteer, contact John McCarthy, state park’s archaeologist, at john.mccarthy@state.de.us or (302) 739-9188 to register for the Time Traveler email list to receive the latest news about projects, training, and other events.