Making a Difference at the Museum

Posted by Janet Costa on Jan 15, 2019 Janet Costa

Do you ever count the many blessings that have come your way and think that you would like to give back to your community in some meaningful way? Do you entertain the idea of serving as a volunteer somewhere, but you’re just not sure where?

NPS park rangers and volunteers

photo credit: NPS

If you do, we’ll bet you’re not alone. That’s why we’re starting a new blog series called Making a Difference. In each blog, we’ll highlight a number of local volunteer opportunities that you may not have known even existed. There are a multitude of nonprofit organizations in the Upper Valley that would welcome a little help. Today, we look at museums.

  • During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the machine tool industry played an outsized role in transforming the United States into an industrial powerhouse. You can be a part of preserving that history when you volunteer at the American Precision Museum, in Windsor, Vermont. Training is provided for docents who will lead programs about the evolution of machines and machine tools that continue to shape our modern world.
  • The agricultural heritage of the Upper Valley takes center stage at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont. They need volunteers to help out with hands-on craft projects, the annual quilt exhibition, education programs, and a variety of behind-the-scenes activities. Volunteers can start young at Billings Farm & Museum. Everyone 11 years old and up is welcome.
  • There’s no lovelier setting in the Upper Valley than the shores of Mascoma Lake in Enfield, New Hampshire, where the Shaker religious community once thrived. The Shakers’ Great Stone Building became the Enfield Shaker Museum in 1986, and today you can help preserve and interpret Shaker history in a variety of ways. You might help with maintenance, staff the gift shop, work in the herb garden, or even assist with program development.
  • Colonial history comes alive at the Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire, where you could lend a hand with sales and customer service in the gift shop of the living history museum.
  • If you love art and can spare three hours a week, consider working in the gift shop at the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire.
  • If you enjoy working with the public and wouldn’t mind spending some time in a palatial historic home, the folks at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont, could put you to work as a mansion steward or as an assistant in the visitor center.
  • The Montshire Museum of Science, in Norwich, Vermont, is a busy place. All of you science lovers out there can lend a hand interacting with visitors just three hours a week or help out with facilities maintenance one morning each week.
  • Do you love strolling the grounds at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire? Then why not volunteer to give tours, or tend the formal gardens, or help out at the museum gift shop?

Topics: Community, Local Interest