Volunteer Blog

NOVEMBER

This month is time to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives.

I am grateful for the amazing volunteers we have throughout the Idaho State Historical Society. Each volunteer takes time out of their busy lives and gives it to the Agency. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!

 

While attending a webinar on volunteer management, I learned about volunteer profiles and how they help to define the best roles for volunteers in your agency. If you could pick a profile that best fits you, which would it be?

 

Volunteer Profile:

Social-Making connections and meeting people

Free-timers-Giving back and creating routine

Life Enhancement-Starting fresh and rebuilding

Career and Skill Building-Learning and gathering experience

Outside Influence-Obligation and assignment

Upcoming ISHS Orientations:

Agency Orientations: Tues, Nov 12, 6-7p.m. at the Idaho State Archives, 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd. and Tues, Dec 10, 6-7p.m. at the Idaho State Archives. Please RSVP to joan.bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov

The Idaho State Museum Volunteer positions have been redesigned.

Ambassador Training Review

By Bonnie Urresti

On October 18 I had the opportunity to attend a Museum Ambassador training re-fresh conducted by Emily Chivers.  For those of you who are contemplating attending a future re-fresh session, I highly recommend it!  The museum staff continues to take steps to enhance the ambassador experience and this session reinvigorated my interest in the role.

For those of us who do not have a background in education, the session includes relevant information on learning styles and tips on increasing patron engagement.  Also, Emily shared some adjustments the museum staff is making to shifts and other opportunities to engage with the museum with upcoming exhibits.

I’m most excited about a new feature being added called the “History in Hand Cart”.  This is a portable cart that can be rolled out to a specific exhibit that will contain artifacts relevant to the exhibit and can be handled by guests.  My fellow ambassador, Nan McGrath, and I tested it out with outstanding results.  We set the cart up by the fur trapper and Geronimo exhibit.  Virtually every guest who walked by stopped to look at and touch the animal pelts, beaver trap and top hat.  It gave us an opportunity to talk about the exhibit and most stopped to read the exhibit information and watch the Geronimo video. There are several options for the cart for other exhibits.

This was a fun way to engage with museum guests, and the time flew by!  I highly recommend all ambassadors attend the re-fresh session.

Discovery Guide

Fridays 1:00p.m.-2:45p.m., 2:30p.m.-4:15p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 12:00p.m.-1:45p.m.,1:30-3:15p.m. Extra shifts may be opened for Holidays and Special Events (i.e. First Thursday). Summer hours will vary depending on visitation.

2 Volunteers per shift, 1 hour and 45-minute shifts (to allow for setup and cleanup).

Discovery Guides will engage family and intergenerational audiences through conversation, hands-on activities, and exploration in the Boomtown and History Lab Exhibits in the family galleries of the Museum. These exhibits were designed to promote hands-on, interactive, play-based learning for children and their caregivers. The Boomtown exhibit gives visitors the opportunities to try their hand at early professions and trades in Idaho and the History Lab introduces visitors to primary resources through fun, hands-on activities.

What are we looking for?

  • Enthusiasm for working with children and a wide range of visitors to the museum
  • A growth mindset and a willingness to learn and teach new things
  • Good customer service and communication skills
  • The ability to complete tasks independently and as a part of a team
  • Experience working with youth (teaching, coaching, mentoring)
  • Ability to stand on your feet for up to 3 hours

 

Volunteers will…

  • Complete initial training and attend ongoing development sessions
  • Greet all visitors and invite them to participate in the exhibits or programs
  • Encourage family learning by asking questions, participating in play, and establishing goals and challenges for families to complete
  • Facilitate the MakerStation Cart which provides hands-on activities for families that relate to content from the Museum’s exhibits
  • Monitor and maintain safe conditions in the Boomtown and History Lab Exhibits

 

Museum Ambassador
Monday-Sundays (dependent on visitation, program, event, and outreach schedules)
2-hour shifts

Museum Ambassadors will be stationed throughout the Museum during field trip program days, special events, and times of peak visitation. They will also represent the Museum at outreach booths in the community. After their initial training session, Museum Ambassadors will greet visitors, answer questions regarding the Museum, provide orientation to visitors, help facilitate hands-on learning activities, and perform light cleaning of the exhibition areas as necessary. They will also promote safe and engaging experiences for visitors as they explore the Museum’s Exhibits. These volunteers also reinforce behavioral expectations in the galleries during open hours.

What are we looking for?

  • Enthusiasm for working with a wide range of visitors to the museum from diverse backgrounds
  • A growth mindset and a willingness to learn and teach new things
  • Good customer service and communication skills
  • Love of public speaking
  • The ability to complete tasks independently and as a part of a team
  • Ability to stand on your feet for up to 3 hours
  • A love for Idaho and its history

 

Volunteers will …

  • Complete initial training and attend ongoing development sessions
  • Greet visitors and answer questions regarding the Museum
  • Facilitate the History in Hand Cart which provides object-based learning opportunities from artifacts in the education collection
  • Provide basic orientation to visitors
  • Become familiar with the exhibitions throughout the Museum.
  • Coordinate with Visitor Services staff to perform light cleaning of exhibitions as necessary
  • Watch over the galleries and exhibits to make sure interactives are working properly and visitors are aware of Museum rules

Righting a Wrong Ambassador

 

January 25th, 2019 – April 5th, 2019, Mondays-Sundays 10a.m.-5p.m., 2-hour shifts

Special Volunteer Opportunity!
Righting a Wrong Ambassadors will be stationed in the Syringa Gallery to engage with visitors in the special exhibition Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II from Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES). They will greet visitors, answer questions regarding the exhibition, provide orientation to visitors, facilitate hands-on, object-based learning, and perform light cleaning of the exhibition areas as necessary. They will also promote safe and appropriate usage of exhibit features and interactives.

What are we looking for?

  • Enthusiasm for working with a wide range of visitors to the museum from diverse backgrounds
  • A growth mindset and a willingness to learn and teach new things
  • Good customer service and communication skills
  • The ability to complete tasks independently and as a part of a team
  • Ability to stand on your feet for up to 3 hours
  • Willingness to discuss difficult topics in history
  • A love for Idaho and its history

 

Volunteers will…

  • Complete initial training and attend ongoing development sessions
  • Greet visitors and engage in conversation when appropriate
  • Answer questions regarding the Exhibit and Museum
  • Facilitate the History in Hand Cart which provides object-based learning opportunities from artifacts in the Education Collection
  • Watch over the galleries and exhibits to make sure interactives are working properly and visitors are aware of Museum rules

 

 

 

 

Education Volunteer

Tuesday-Friday (9:00a.m.-2:00p.m.)

Extra shifts may be opened on Mondays and for special events (i.e. First Thursday)

Education Volunteers will deliver engaging programs for Preschool-12th grade audiences through discussion-based tours and object based-inquiry. By having subject matter training in each gallery, Education Volunteers bring the museum to life for school groups and homeschool day participants connecting themes and concepts learned in the classroom to content in the Museum. Education Volunteers reinforce behavioral expectations in the galleries during tours and self-guided times.

What are we looking for?

  • Enthusiasm for working with children from a wide range of diverse backgrounds
  • A growth mindset and a willingness to learn and teach new things
  • Experience working with youth (teaching, coaching, mentor)
  • Good customer service and communication skills
  • The ability to complete tasks independently and as a part of a team
  • Ability to stand on your feet for up to 3 hours
  • A love for Idaho and its history

Volunteers will…

  • Complete initial training and attend ongoing development sessions that will include resources and information on Museum content, how to encourage and promote learning in the Museum and how to facilitate hands-on, object-based discovery
  • Deliver thematic, discussion-based tours in the Museum with groups of school children
  • Answer questions regarding the Exhibit and Museum
  • Assist children with classroom based hands-on workshop activities
  • Reinforce behavioral expectations in the Museum during tours and self-guided times

 

UPCOMING State Museum trainings: RSVP to mailto:emily.chivers@ishs.idaho.gov

 

November 5 & 6   Discovery Guide Training at the Idaho State Museum Classrooms, 9am-12pm

November 23       Museum Ambassador (New Volunteers) training at the Idaho State Museum Classrooms, 11a.m.-2p.m.

December 14       Museum Ambassador (Continued Education) training at the Idaho State Museum Classrooms, 9am-12pm

January 5             Righting a Wrong Ambassador and staff training led by Mia Russell from Friends of Minidoka – covering history, terminology, Q&A in the Idaho Room at the Idaho State Museum, 8:30am-11:30am

January 19           Righting a Wrong Ambassador and staff training at Minidoka National Historic Site, 8am-1:30pm Location

 

Museum Volunteer Sneak Peek Opportunities: RSVP to emily.chivers@ishs.idaho.gov

 

November 23rd    Museum Volunteer Sneak Peek for Design, Color, Repeat: Exploring Patterns and Prints Exhibit in the Treasures Gallery at the Idaho State Museum, 9am-10am

January 25th         Museum Volunteer Sneak Peek for Righting a Wrong Exhibit at the Idaho State Museum, 9am-10am

NEW ISHS STAFF

Diana Burrell – Development and Marketing Director

Emily Ford -Visitor Services Representative at State Museum

Alison Espindola – Event and Rental Coordinator at State Museum

Ceci Richardson – Visitor Service Representative at State Museum

Maria Ortega – Visitor Service Representative at State Museum

Kelly Horsley – M Store Manager at State Museum

Micah Hetherington -Visitor Service Representative at State Museum

HannaLore Hein-State Historian

Zachary Jones-Reference Manager at Idaho State Archives

CALL OUT TO VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:

During the Thanksgiving weekend we are in need of volunteers at the Idaho State Museum. It was the busiest weekend of the year last year!

  • Fri, Nov 29 Membership/Volunteer table – 10:30a.m.- 4p.m. -2 hour shifts
  • Sat, Nov 30 Membership/Volunteer table – 10:30a.m.- 4p.m. -2 hour shifts
  • Sun, Dec 1 Membership/Volunteer table – 10:30a.m.-4p.m. -2 hour shifts

 

If you have two hours that are open during the weekend, we could use a few awesome volunteers to recruit new members and volunteers at the State Museum. The table will be set up for you! Please RSVP to Joan at joan.bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov by Nov 22 your availability.

 

SEPTEMBER

Volunteers must not just consider themselves “volunteers.” Each hour they give represents many hours saved by the government. I have been the Volunteer Coordinator for ISHS for one year and volunteers have saved the government over 2,000 hours of salaried personnel time. We thank you for the commitment you make to Idaho State Historical Society. Those savings have ensured the preservation and promotion of Idaho’s history.

UPCOMING ISHS ORIENTATIONS:

AGENCY ORIENTATION: Tuesday, September 10, 6-7 P.M. at the Idaho State Archives or Wednesday, September 18, 12-1 P.M. at Old Idaho Penitentiary. Please RSVP to joan.bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov

REMINDER! Old Penitentiary Road is getting a makeover! Construction will be happening for a few months! Be patient as you drive to your volunteer locations. Signs will be posted and know there will be minor delays.

CALLOUT TO VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:

Western Museums Association 2019 Annual Meeting, Oct 4-7 at the Boise Centre and a few local museums. I will be looking for volunteers for the meeting. Registration:

Volunteers: Friday-Monday, October 4-7

Session monitors Saturday-Monday, October 5-7

Event volunteers Fri-Mon, Oct 4-7

Please contact me by email if you are interested and I will email you the volunteer application that indicates the assignments you may choose for the annual meeting. It will be a great opportunity to meet new people and learn the dynamics of museum management.

Frightened Felons 2019 at the Old Idaho Penitentiary

Family Night: Friday, October 25, 7-11 P.M.

Adult Night: Saturday, October 26, 7-11 P.M.

For both nights, we will need several haunted house actors to work 2.5 or 4.5 hour shifts. All the costumes and makeup will be provided for you. Site patrol, exhibit host, volunteer check in and much more will be needed! If you have a work group that does volunteering for community service connect them to me and I will coordinate the logistics. Adult family members, church groups, groups of friends, and groups that like to get together and do community service while scaring the bajemmes out of people will be greatly appreciated. Everyone needs to commit to volunteering either 2.5 or 4.5 hour shifts. In the past we have been left at the end of the night with no scary volunteers! Consider doing a later shift if at all possible!

We will need costume contest judges too! Contact me if interested in any volunteer opportunity.

 

AUGUST

UPCOMING ISHS ORIENTATIONS:

AGENCY ORIENTATION: Tues, Aug 13, 6-7 P.M. at Idaho State Archives Bldg., 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd. or Wed, Aug 21 12-1 P.M. at Idaho State Museum in Julia Davis Park. Please RSVP to joan.bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov

IDAHO STATE MUSEUM ORIENTATIONS: Museum Ambassador Training on August 17th from 9-11 A.M. at the Idaho State Museum.

REMINDER! The Old Penitentiary Road is getting a makeover! Construction has begun! Be patient as you drive to your volunteer locations. Signs will be posted and know there will be minor delays.

BEHIND GRAY WALLS- I wanted to share this awesome podcast with all the ISHS volunteers. It explores the Old Idaho Penitentiary’s most intruguing inmate stories. It is hosted by Anthony Parry and Sky Cranney, staff members at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. The podcast can be found on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google music, and Stitcher. ENJOY!

Western Museums Association 2019 Annual Meeting will be held in Boise Oct 4-7 at the Boise Centre and a few local museums. I will be looking for volunteers for the meeting. Assemble Registration packets on Thurs, Oct 3, Registration volunteers on Fri-Mon, Oct 4-7, Session monitors Sat-Mon, Oct 5-7 and Event volunteers Fri-Mon, Oct 4-7. Please contact me by email if you are interested and I will email you the volunteer application that indicates the assignments you wish to choose for the Annual meeting. It will be a great opportunity to meet new people and learn the dynamics of museum management.

FRIGHTENED FELONS 2019–It is time to start recruiting volunteers for the 2019 Frightened Felons event.

Fri, Oct 25 6-10 P.M. Family night. Sat, Oct 26 6-10 P.M. Adult night!

For both nights, we will need a lot of haunted house actors to do 2 or 4 hour shifts. All the costumes and makeup will be provided for you. Site patrol, scavenger hunt, ID checkers and much more will be needed! If you have a work group that does volunteering for community service, connect them to me and I will coordinate the logistics. Adult family members, church groups, groups of friends, and groups that like to get together and do community service while scaring the bajemmes out of people will be greatly appreciated. Everyone needs to commit to volunteering either 2 or 4 hour shifts. In the past we have been left at the end of the night with no scary volunteers! Consider doing a later shift if at all possible!

 

 

JUNE

Happy Summer! What will you be doing this summer? The ISHS sites will begin to see many visitors. Local friends sharing their ISHS site experiences with visiting friends and family. Traveling visitors stopping by to take in the experience of Idaho history. As more visitors arrive at the sites throughout the summer, volunteers will be needed to enhance the visitor experience. Check your calendar, are you available to give a few hours a month? Take a moment and sign up on the site calendar! Offer the visitor your love and knowledge of Idaho history.

UPCOMING ISHS ORIENTATIONS:

Society Orientation: Tuesday, June 11, 6 P.M.-7 P.M. or Wednesday, June 19, 12 P.M.-1 P.M. at the Idaho State Archives Bldg., 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd. Please RSVP to joan.bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov

IDAHO STATE MUSEUM ORIENTATIONS:

Ambassador Orientation: Idaho State Museum: June 22 from 9 A.M.-11 A.M.

 

An update on the National History Day Awardees: 57 awardees are now making their way to the National History Day in Washington D.C. for their final competition. Below is a link to one of the awardee’s projects that will be presented in Washington D.C. National History Day-Idaho Documentary submission -Emma Little

https://youtu.be/r3GWZCcrEDw

The Idaho Humanities Council Facebook page is a great resource for interesting posts regarding History and its relevance in our current society. Take a moment yourself and drift over to their Facebook page. Enjoy!

Idaho Humanities Council

 

MAY

MAY IS RIDE YOUR BIKE TO WORK/VOLUNTEER JOB MONTH

All ISHS sites have bike racks, so if you want to take a part of Ride your bike to work month, you have a place to lock your bike!

UPCOMING ISHS ORIENTATIONS:

Agency Orientation: Tuesday, May 14, 6 P.M.-7 P.M. at the Idaho State Archives, 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd., upstairs in conference room, or Tuesday, May 21 12 P.M.-1 P.M. at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. Please RSVP to joan.bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov

IDAHO STATE MUSEUM ORIENTATIONS:

Ambassador Orientation: Monday, May 20, 3 P.M.-5 P.M. Idaho State Museum, 610 Julia Davis Dr.

Education Volunteer Training: Thursday, May 9, 1:30 P.M.-3:30 P.M. in the Idaho State Museum classroom. We have updated our school program curriculum, so training is mandatory for all who have and will help in the classroom.

 

VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION EVENT 2019

Thank you to all the volunteers and guests who attended the Volunteer Appreciation event. It turned out to be a wonderful event. Yummy food, entertaining volunteer video, and an amazing program by Paul Schiller and Lisa Laramer. There are water bottles for all ISHS volunteers. If you did not receive one, they are located at the sites, please take one! We would like to take another opportunity to thank all the wonderful, energetic, engaging, fun volunteers of the Idaho State Historical Society.

Volunteer Appreciation

volunteers eating

A 2017 Volunteerism Survey of working Americans, found that only 18% of employees who volunteer believe volunteering can enhance their career opportunities. Only 36% say it can help them develop new skills. Employers, on the other hand, have a different perspective on service. They feel that creating a culture of volunteerism boosts morale (70%), offers an improved sense of purpose (74%), and improves the workplace atmosphere (70%). Moreover, a whopping 89% of employers surveyed believe companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not.

Source: Deloitte, 2017 Volunteerism Survey, (June 2017)

 

APRIL

APRIL IS VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION MONTH

April is a month to celebrate those who dedicate their time to being stewards of our community through volunteerism. The Idaho State Historical Society truly appreciates all the volunteers who put in numerous hours through a variety of roles within the agency. We are planning a special event for you. Invites have gone out so please mark your calendar:

2019 Volunteer Appreciation Event ENGAGE Thursday, April 18, 4:30 P.M.-6:30 P.M. in the Idaho Room at the Idaho State Museum. Hor d’oeuvres and drinks will be served, and tours of the Museum will be given during the event. Feel free to bring a guest! RSVP to by Friday, April 12 to:Â Joan.Bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov

UPCOMING ISHS ORIENTATIONS:

Agency Orientation: Wednesday, April 17, 12 P.M.-1 P.M. in the Idaho Room at the Idaho State Museum

IDAHO STATE MUSEUM ORIENTATIONS:

All volunteers must first receive foundational training as a museum ambassador.

Interested ambassadors can then attend additional training sessions to be an education volunteer or a museum guide. Museum ambassador training will be offered monthly.

Ambassador Orientation: Sat, April 20, 9-11:30 A.M. at the Idaho State Museum

Education Volunteer Training: Wednesday, March 27, from 12 P.M.-2 P.M. in the Idaho State Museum classroom. We updated our school program curriculum so training is mandatory for all who have helped, and will help, in the classroom.

 A NEW OPPORTUNITY Museum Guide Training: Wednesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 17, from 2:30 P.M.-4:30 P.M. in the Idaho State Museum classroom. Both days of training will be mandatory.

Resources for Volunteers to learn more about Idaho History:

Carlos Swantas: In the Mountain Shadows

Adam M Sowards: Idaho’s Place: A New History of the Gem State

As a guest of the State Museum or Old Idaho Penitentiary would you like the volunteer at the site know only facts–or would you like to hear stories, laugh, and understand the facts and how they impacted history? Watch to this YouTube video recommended by an ISHS volunteer. What can you do as a volunteer to improve your delivery? Enjoy.

MARCH

WHY VOLUNTEERING IS IMPACTFUL FOR THE IDAHO STATE HISTORICIAL SOCIETY

Four volunteers stewarding over 20,000 images is one example of why volunteering is impactful for the Idaho State Historical Society. Every week, four volunteers come to the Idaho State Archives and work to scan various images from our collections. Scanning preserves the image from fading, tearing and losing its integrity, while providing public access in digital form. Digital collections represent only a fraction of the over 500,000 images at Idaho State Archives. Take a moment to view the images in the ISHS Photo gallery collection. As you view the images, think of the volunteers who take time out of their day to preserve and share photographic history with all!

IDAHO DAY MONDAY, MARCH 4

Join us as we celebrate Idaho Day with this year’s theme: My Town Idaho

Where: Lincoln Auditorium, Idaho Statehouse

What time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

NEW DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING ADMINISTRATOR

Welcome, Christine Dwello. She will be overseeing Membership and Volunteer Coordinator efforts too! Christine is coming from the Idaho Food Bank and has experience with several Non-profits. She loves the ask in development. She started on Monday, February 25, and will make a great addition to the Agency!

UPCOMING ISHS ORIENTATIONS:

Society Orientation: Tues, March 12, 6-7 p.m. State Archives Bldg. 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd.

Wed, March 20, 12-1 p.m. State Archives Bldg. 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd.

IDAHO STATE MUSEUM ORIENTATIONS:

Ambassador Orientation: Sat, March 16, 9-11 a.m. Idaho State Museum

Education Volunteer Orientation: Tues, March 27, 12-2 p.m. Idaho State Museum

SAVE THE DATE-2019 Volunteer Appreciation Event ENGAGE Thurs, April 18, 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Idaho Room at the Idaho State Museum. Hor d’oeuvres and drinks will be served and tours of the Museum will be given during the event. Feel free to bring a guest! RSVP to Joan.Bevirt@ishs.idaho.gov

Put a SPRING in your step as you volunteer for the Idaho State Historical Society.

FEBRUARY

Idaho State Historical Volunteers are growing by leaps and bounds. Each site has increased volunteers by at least 5%. Each site has retained over 98% of their volunteers too!

The AAM’s Museum Financial Information Survey  found that volunteers contribute over a million hours of service every week in American museums. That number doesn’t even take into account the passion and skills that volunteers bring. Museums of any size can benefit from enthusiastic and committed volunteers.

THANK YOU volunteer for all you do for the Idaho State Historical Society.

The ISHS website is full of great information about the happenings within the Society

SAVE THE DATE-2019 Volunteer Appreciation Event ENGAGE Thurs, April 18 4:30-6:30p.m. at the State Museum Idaho room. Hor d’oeuvres and drinks will be served, tours of the Museum will be given during the event. Bring a guest. RSVP

Upcoming Idaho State Historical Society Orientations:

Society Orientation: Wed, Feb 20, 12-1 p.m. Old Idaho Penitentiary 2445 Old Penitentiary Rd.

Tues, March 12, 6-7 p.m. State Archives Bldg. 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd.

Wed, March 20, 12-1 p.m. State Archives Bldg. 2205 Old Penitentiary Rd.

Old Idaho Penitentiary:

Volunteer Orientation: Sat Feb 23, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (9 a.m.-10:15 a.m. for non-docents)

Idaho State Museum:

Education Volunteer Orientation: Wed, March 27, 12-2 p.m. Idaho State Museum

Ambassador Orientation: Sat, March 16, 9-11 a.m. Idaho State Museum

Idaho Business Review announces 2019 Woman of the Year and Jan Gallimore is chosen for her outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments, mentorship and community service. Profiles of the 2019 honorees will be published in a special magazine available to IBR subscribers in the March 8 edition.

Below is a link to a great TED talk on Why Museums Matter! The Talk focuses on art, but it makes you ponder on the roles of all Museums.

Seeing the Past as Present: Why Museums Matter | Colleen Leth | TEDxOxBridge

Watch the video here