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Volunteer Program Descriptions

Volunteers are needed to help visitors understand topics covered in the galleries, help maintain museum etiquette, and share information (if requested) about the galleries.

Skills: Gallery Hosts should be able to physically navigate through the museum, talk with a variety of patrons, be patient and courteous, be able to answer endless questions, and maintain a warm and friendly attitude while treating museum visitors as though they were guests in your home.

Time requirement: A few hours a week and special events

Training: Volunteer boot camp in February and August

Meet and Greet

Volunteers are needed as meet and greet volunteers, who are often the first contact for visitors. They should provide a warm welcome, help orient the visitor to the museum, and offer insight into the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Skills: Meet and greet volunteers should be able to talk with a variety of patrons, have a general knowledge of the Oklahoma City metro area, be patient and courteous under all circumstances, be able to answer endless questions, and maintain a warm, helpful, and friendly attitude.

Time requirement: A few hours a week and special events

Training: Volunteer boot camp in February and August

Arts Festival

Volunteers are needed to help with the annual festival celebrating the arts in Oklahoma located in downtown Oklahoma City. Volunteers staff the sweet corn food booth, which in turn makes a donation to the History Center's volunteer services program. Volunteers work making chocolate-dipped cheesecake and loaded brisket potatoes!

Skills: Festival volunteers should have the ability to stand for several hours and follow directions

Time requirement: Varies

Training: On-the-job training

Museum Store

Volunteers are needed to assist the Museum Store staff with a variety of daily tasks that may include inventory, stocking merchandise, creating displays, providing customer service, etc. Attention to detail and accuracy are important; customer service skills or retail experience are a plus. On-the-job training will be provided. Volunteers are scheduled through the Museum Store manager and the volunteer coordinator manager.

Skills: Museum Store volunteers should be able to physically navigate through the museum, talk with a variety of patrons, be patient and courteous, be able to answer endless questions, and maintain a warm and friendly attitude while treating visitors as though they were guests in your home.

Time requirement: Varies

Training: Museum store training is provided by store staff in February

Collections

Behind-the-scenes volunteers provide support services to the areas of the museum including collections. For example, volunteering in collections includes data entry into PastPerfect, photographing, cataloging, mount-making, and proper artifact-handling.

Skills: Collections volunteers should have attention to detail, be able to sit for long periods of time, enjoy working independently, be able to follow directions, and do computer data entry.

Time requirement: Volunteers will arrange their work schedule through the volunteer coordinator and the department to which they are assigned

Training: On-the-job training will be provided

Special Events

Special event hosts assist with a variety of duties for events held at the Oklahoma History Center including private parties, special openings, etc.

Skills: Responsibilities vary with each event and may include coat check, working as a gallery host, acting as security, etc.

Time requirement: Scheduling is on an as-needed basis

Training: On-the-job training will be provided; some pre-event orientation or training may be required

Volunteer Office

Volunteers are needed to assist to the volunteer coordinator. Activities are assigned with minimal supervision. This includes maintaining files, compiling volunteer names for the special events schedule, processesing daily bookings and volunteer hours, reporting monthly hours, accumulating handouts, provinding support for monthly meetings, supporting Boot Camps, definining each quarter's hours in MVP, ordering supplies, auditing volunteer files, etc.

Skills: Computer skills

Time requirement: Varies

Training: Trained by volunteer coordinator

Internship

The Oklahoma History Center is seeking interns for the education department. The intern will be exposed to a variety of tasks associated with museum education, including assisting with educational programming, marketing, writing curriculum, working with volunteers, visitor overviews, guided tours, living histories, and special events. A primary project will be assigned after acceptance, based on the student's interests.

Skills: Interns should have interpersonal skills, customer service skills, initiative to approach and engage students in gallery setting, willingness to provide polite and assertive enforcement of museum rules, ability to stand for several hours, and knowledge of the museum galleries.

Time requirement: Ten to twenty hours per week minimum

Training: Prospective interns should be seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree in history, museum studies, public history, education, anthropology, or other related fields. A letter of intent, resume, and writing sample should be sent to Sarah Dumas at sdumas@okhistory.org

Living History

Living history docents provide accurate historical information to visitors and scheduled groups through first and/or third person interpretation. Additional hours of training and preparation are required to achieve docent designation. A proficiency test in the chosen subject area may be required. Those with a love of history and experience with public performance are encouraged to apply. Scheduling is on call, on an as-needed basis.

Skills: Living history volunteers should have skills in public speaking and performance and be able to conduct independent historical research.

Time requirement: Varies

Training: Living history training is provided in January

Tour Guide

Guides or docents provide in-depth programs or tours to scheduled visitors on a pre-selected topic. Programs and tours are provided for all ages. Tour guides are needed to engage visitors with objects and provide information on the historical significance, interpretation, culture of origin, uses, relevance, and the relationship to gallery artifacts.

Skills: Guides and docents should be able to talk to various age groups, be patient and courteous under all circumstances, be able to answer endless questions, maintain a warm and friendly attitude, have a strong work ethic, knowledge of all museum exhibits, and the ablility to interact with various group sizes.

Time requirement: Seasonal and visitor dependent

Training: Tour guide training is in the fall, and additional hours of preparation are required to achieve docent designation. In addition, a proficiency test within the chosen subject area may be required. A sample tour must be given to staff for evaluation.

Hands-On History Carts

The Oklahoma History Center has five hands-on history carts on topics including pioneer family, fur trade, American Indians, space, and oil and gas. Volunteers are needed to engage visitors on a come-and-go basis while providing information on the historical significance, interpretations, culture of origin, uses, relevance to today, and the relationship to gallery artifacts.

Skills: Volunteers should have the ability to talk to various age groups, be patient and courteous under all circumstances, be able to answer endless questions, maintain a warm, helpful, and friendly attitude. Volunteers should have a strong work ethic, knowledge of all museum exhibits, a positive attitude, and the ability to interact with various group sizes.

Time requirement: A few hours a week

Training: Hands-on cart training is provided in August

OkieTales

OkieTales is a weekly summer reading program for children ages five to nine. Volunteers are needed to read a book to children, visit an exhibit and connect it to the book, and facilitate a hands-on activity. Through this program, volunteers teach about Oklahoma history, help provide constructive activities for children during the summer, and improve literacy skills in children. They also help provide memorable and positive experiences associated with the Oklahoma History Center. Volunteers may also be requested for large groups scheduled separately.

Skills: Volunteers should be able to engage children, have reading out-loud skills, and knowledge of museum exhibits.

Time requirement: Volunteer a couple or more mornings each summer on Wednesdays or other days as needed

Training: Required OkieTales training is in May

Education Trunks Maintenance

Volunteers are needed to check contents of education trunks after the trunks are returned by teachers. Volunteers will check for missing or broken parts and prepare the trunk for checkout. Volunteers may also assist educators with data entry such as trunk reports and survey results. Education trunks bring hands-on items to the classroom to students across the state of Oklahoma. Volunteers in this position help trunks remain at a high quality in order best serve teachers and students. This position will be approved by the volunteer coordinator and education director.

Skills: Volunteers should have attention to detail and basic computer skills.

Time requirement: A few hours per week

Training: One-on-one instruction from education staff

Curriculum Development

Volunteers will work with an educator to review, update, and develop curriculum guides and lesson plans for traveling trunks, exhibits, trade books, and webpages. Volunteering in curriculum development helps provide teachers access to high-quality, innovative social studies lessons to use in the classroom.

Skills: Volunteers should have excellent writing skills, knowledge of curriculum development, attention to detail, and familiarity with basic computer programs such as Microsoft Word.

Time requirement: Some work can be done from home with a computer; time varies

Training: Volunteers are needed who have formal training or experience in education, history, or museum studies

Teacher Professional Development

Volunteers are needed to work with the education team to help plan and assist with professional development and pre-service teacher workshops, teacher's institutes, events such as the Back to School Bash, teacher advisory group, Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, and more. Volunteers help serve Oklahoma teachers and make the Oklahoma History Center a cutting-edge resource for educators and their students. Volunteers are needed who have formal training or experience in education, history, or museum studies.

Skills: Volunteer should have excellent writing skills, knowledge of curriculum development, attention to detail, and familiarity with basic computer programs.

Time requirement: Varies

Training: Volunteers are needed who have formal training or experience in education, history, or museum studies

Traditional Traders

Volunteers are needed to share traditional crafts with the museum visitors. Volunteers will utilize those skills in the galleries with the museum visitors on Saturdays, during special events, throughout field trip season, and when other large groups visit the Oklahoma History Center. Examples of traditional crafts include spinning, weaving, quilting, sewing, beadwork, embroidery, and pottery.

Skills: Dependent on craft for demonstration

Time requirement: Varies

Program Assistance

Volunteers are needed to help with Oklahoma History Center programs such as Cowboy Round-up, Septemberfest, lectures, etc. Volunteers will assist with duties including children's activities, cooking, living history, gallery host, meet and greet, etc.

Skills: Volunteers should have the ability to talk to various age groups, patient and courteous under all types of circumstances, able to answer endless questions, maintain a warm and friendly attitude, have a strong work ethic, knowledge of all museum exhibits, the ability to interact with various group sizes, and have a positive attitude.

Time requirement: Varies

Training: None specific, but must attend volunteer boot camp

Class Instructor

Volunteers are needed to teach classes at the Oklahoma History Center. Many volunteers have talents and interests outside of the museum. This program offers them a way to share their talents with others and teach future generations. Past examples include Dutch oven cooking, spinning, quilting, and candlemaking. This position will be approved by the volunteer coordinator and education director.

Skills: Volunteers should have the ability to talk to various age groups, be patient and courteous under all types of circumstances, able to answer endless questions, maintain a warm and friendly attitude, have a strong work ethic, have knowledge of all museum exhibits, have the ability to interact with various group sizes, and have a positive attitude.

Time requirement: Varies

Training: Trained in the skill being taught to the class

Class Assistant

Volunteers are needed to assist class instructors at the Oklahoma History Center. Many volunteers have talents and interests outside of the museum. This program offers them a way to learn new talents and teach the future generations.

Skills: Volunteers should have the ability to talk to various age groups, be patient and courteous under all types of circumstances, able to answer endless questions. Volunteer should have the ability to maintain a warm and friendly attitude, have a strong work ethic, have knowledge of all museum exhibits, the ability to interact with various group sizes, and have a positive attitude.

Time requirement: Varies

Training: No specific training but must attend volunteer boot camp

OKNHD

"This program is not just a day, it is an experience." Volunteers are needed to help with Oklahoma National History Day. Volunteers may serve as judges, room monitors, gallery hosts, assist with set-up and registration, make buttons, and act as exhibit monitors. After students compete at regional contests around the state, the winners compete at the state level at the Oklahoma History Center the first Wednesday and Thursday in May.

Skills: Volunteers should be able to talk to various age groups, be patient and courteous under all types of circumstances, able to answer endless questions, maintain a warm and friendly attitude, have a strong work ethic, knowledge of all museum exhibits, the ability interact with various group sizes, and have a positive attitude.

Time requirement: Time requirement varies and may include limited travel

Training: As needed

Field Trips

When a significant number of students are taking field trips on the same day, the History Center may designate "Field Trip Days." In lieu of offering guided tours, volunteers are needed to engage as many as several hundred self-touring students and chaperones in the galleries for several hours. This may include working with hands-on carts, dressing as a living history character, or being assigned to a certain gallery area. Volunteers in this position also help teach students proper museum behavior, protect museum exhibits, and help ensure student safety. We are looking for people who enjoy engaging children with Oklahoma history and our museum exhibits. Volunteers in this position will help students of Oklahoma have both a safe and memorable experience during their field trip to the Oklahoma History Center.

Skills: Volunteers should have interpersonal skills, customer service skills, initiative to approach and engage students in gallery setting, willingness to provide polite and assertive enforcement of museum rules, ability to stand for several hours, knowledgeable of the museum galleries, and certified on hands-on carts or living history (optional).

Time requirement: Volunteers should meet at the front desk by 9:45 am. Volunteers should notify education staff at least twenty-four hours prior if they request to dress in period clothing.

Training: Field trip training is required; this training is offered every February