Thursday, August 8, 2013

Volunteers At The Museum

I have a new volunteer at the museum, her name is Kayla and she is eight years old, soon to be nine.  Last week she created a new Treasure Hunt for children.  She learned how to dust properly in the museum..no spray ever goes on the cabinets..only on your paper towel, how to run the old fashioned carpet sweeper because you can use it while people are in the museum, and she helped me stuff newspaper articles in acid free plastic sleeves ( She was bored with that job.)  She also gave her sister and cousin a tour. She straightened up the school room and made sure all the old desks had at least one book. She wants to be a museum curator when she grows up.

Lois is another new volunteer this summer, she has been working on miscellaneous “stuff” wherever I need her.  She made popcorn for me the day of the Silent Movies which by the way were a hoot.  The Great Train Robbery was my favorite!  I am going to transition Lois to the High School Memory Room to make some copies of some of the really old annuals and copy some of the reunion booklets.

Mary Ann is my new file clerk.  I have a major problem with historic files.  We have two categories “places” and “people” for research.  No one has checked them for correct contents in years.  Some files of “people” were so full I could not cram another file in the cabinet.  So we weeded some of the larger files out and incased their contents in archival plastic sleeves and made three ring binder folders.

Far Guy is a wonderful volunteer.  He fixes “stuff” and loves to give tours.  He works for me one day a week.   What a deal.  I am usually only a phone call away just incase when he has questions.

Of course my best volunteer is Tess, she knows the ropes and could run the place in an emergency. Tess greets people, answers the phone and works with obituaries, and whatever office tasks I have for her to do. Often I give her a “pile” of stuff to sort through and she will brief me on the contents...she is a reader and is quickly becoming an expert on many subjects.

Jen is my display volunteer.  She keeps the display out front looking great!

Museum Display

Virginia is my Grant Writer/painter gal.  She loves a project and has been working on different parts of the museum throughout the summer.  I am behind on my picture taking.  I do have the “befores” just haven’t had time to take some “afters.”

My spring volunteers Gravy and Dawn were so helpful getting the museum ready for the Governor’s Fishing Opener. When I look back they were miracle workers..sent at just the right time!   Gravy has been in to help Far Guy move the last of the cabinets around to permanent spots.  I have been working on displays for those cabinets.

The young people from AmeriCorps will be back for the month of September volunteering at the museum on rainy days. ( On non rainy days they will be working on the North County Trail)  I have shelves for them to build for storage, windows to wash, displays to freshen up, kitchen and bathrooms to be painted  and a jail cell to recreate…complete with a bed, stool, sink and door.  I also have a back hallway that I would like cleaned and painted..it is an emergency exit without a purpose…but it is a filthy mess.  I have a spark of an idea of what to display there…we will see what happens.  The worst part of having so many volunteers in the building is that I have to supervise them all..some of these kids have never painted before..I hope at least one is a bit of a carpenter.  I have asked the Board Members to help, the big problem is you never know when it will rain, so nothing can be planned until the last minute..however I will have all my ducks in a row..I hope.

I encourage you all to check out your local Historical Museum if and when you decide to do some volunteer work:)

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16 comments:

  1. Sounds like you have some very helpful volunteers, especially the 8 going on 9 volunteer. Offering my services at our local historical society museum is a good idea - thanks for the suggestion.

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  2. How nice to have such a good number of volunteers. I didn't realize that there were so many helping you, which is definitely needed to keep you from burning out. Coming back next year? :-)

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    1. I am not sure at this point. Somethings need to change:)

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  3. I hope you get a lot of rainy days in September!
    There is an excellent historical museum in the town where I used to live. Sadly, when things got tight, they closed the museum. But, the good news is that it has reopened. I guess they found some great volunteers to keep it running.

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  4. Pleased to hear that your volunteer numbers are increasing, especially young volunteers who will encourage their friends to help out, too.

    High school students are always looking for ways to get community service credits, especially for college applications. Tap into that resource, too.

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  5. Sounds like you have some fine volunteers!

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  6. Wow. That's a lot of volunteers. I had no idea. Good luck with those rainy day kids.

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  7. It's nice you have so many volunteers. We have a historical society and museum, but I can't volunteer - can't even go visit. I've always wanted to go, especially during their Christmas walk with all the lights, but unfortunately it is not handicap accessible. :(

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  8. Thankful you have some good volunteers. The little girl who wants to be a curator has a good role model in you.
    Reading Rae's comment makes my blood boil, yours too, I'm sure.

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  9. You are very fortunate to have such a great crew of volunteers. You have to be the one to recruit volunteers and it looks like you did a super job.

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  10. Nice job recruiting all those volunteers and keeping them engaged in the work. So many things in this world depend on volunteers to keep them going.

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  11. You are such a diligent, and loyal employee, I hope that the museum knows what a gem they have. Good volunteers are worth their weight in gold, as are good employees.

    Our little town has a cute museum with great displays, and mostly wonderful staff..unfortunately the one person who was mean has made me think twice about ever going there again. Although I most likely will give her another chance, this spring's encounter left me feeling like I didn't want to visit again for a long time.

    Small town mentality isn't just a phrase to be trotted out by city people, it's really true.

    Sad.

    Jen

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  12. Kayla sounds like a treasure. As do all your volunteers. Glad you have some!
    Have a wonderful Friday!

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  13. Not only volunteer...but donate, too! :)

    I wonder if the Americorp group you will be getting might be the same ones we just flew to Chicago with. They were headed east after being in Oregon. Those groups certainly do move around!

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  14. You have really done some good coordinating and lots of work. The place is much improved since you have been there. People enjoy being part of a success story. I think one name was missing from your volunteers - - - your official four-legged greeter?!!

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  15. Aha! So these are the folks who are keeping you hanging on by a thread. :):) Glad to hear about them all. And yes--your forgot Chance the greeter! ;)

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie