Volunteer Training

Become immersed in history. Discover your personal pathway for helping preserve Arizona’s past and Prescott’s heritage. Participate in the education program for becoming a volunteer, docent, archival assistant or Living History interpreter at both Sharlot Hall and Fort Whipple museums.

The 18-week schedule of informative, free classes begins Thursday, January 9, 2020, and continues through mid-April. Each session provides volunteers the historical background and understanding to share their personal passion for local history and the Museums.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a tenured volunteer, you benefit from each presentation that runs the gamut from exploring the Museum collections or identifying how curators and archivists take care of historical objects and documents, to special behind-the-scenes tours and “sneak peak” adventures into Museum operations.

All classes convene in the West Gallery (the ‘map’ room) of Sharlot Hall Museum’s Lawler Exhibit Center. Refreshments and conversations begin about 8 a.m.; classes start promptly at 8:30 a.m. and run to 10 a.m. Preregistration is appreciated by contacting Murray Smolens, volunteer coordinator, directly at 928-277-2006.


Topic Schedule subject to change. Check-in with Murray, volunteer coordinator, for any scheduling updates.

Thursday, January 9
Introduction to the Sharlot Hall Museum with Fred, Mick, Jenny, Brenda, Bob, Dave.
Overview of present Museum mission, structure, funding, exhibits, collections, and programs.

Thursday, January 16
General Guidelines for Museum Volunteers with Mick, Nancy, Bev, Ken, Jenny, Murray.
Introduction to volunteer positions at Reception Desk, in Museum Store, Collections, as Tour Guides, and Building Docents, as well as special project volunteers, including events and festival volunteers. Q/A about whole training, expectations, and requirements. Also a brief overview of policies and procedures for all volunteers. 8:30-10:00am.

Thursday, January 23
Tour of Museum with Tour Guide Mike King
A comprehensive tour, similar to tours offered to adult visitor groups, led by experienced tour guide.

Thursday, January 30
Sharlot M Hall: a biographical sketch with Jenny
Sharlot M Hall (1870-1943), the founder of the Museum, was a poet, historian, and essayist who was an original and strikingly independent thinker. Following the talk on Sharlot, those interested in volunteering in the store will meet with Nancy in the Bashford House for 20 minutes of orientation to the store.

Thursday, February 6
The 1864 Territorial Governor’s Mansion with Mick and Jim Pool
The Centerpiece of the Museum complex, and the only historic building originally on this site, is presented in depth. Includes history, occupancy, structural/cosmetic modifications, and restoration/stabilization work undertaken by the Museum.

Thursday, February 13
Fremont House–John C. and Jessie Benton Fremont with Murray
History of the Fremont House, Fremont family story with an emphasis on the Arizona Territory years and John Fremont’s initiatives as governor.

Thursday, Feb. 20
Collections Talk with Kylin
Learn about the range of artifact treasures in the basement, and see a select group of items not currently on display in the museum exhibits.
Museum Trivia with Jenny
It is time to play around with history! Trivia will be using material we have covered in class regarding the founding of the museum, the museum’s founder, and the Territorial Arizona history.

Saturday, February 22
Accuracy and Interpretation: Your Role as a Tour Guide or Docent with Mike King, Murray and Jenny;  10 a.m.-2:30
This workshop will allow seasoned volunteers to update their skills in working with museum visitors. It is also geared to new trainees who want to be docents or tour guides. Lunch will be provided.

Thursday, February 27
Exhibits of the Sharlot Hall Museum: Transportation Building with Mick
Sharlot Hall Building and Territorial Arizona Exhibits with Jim Pool

Thursday, March 5
Archives and Research Methods with Brenda
Tour of Archives, including catalog of resources. Limited to 40 participants

Thursday, March 12
Beasts! with Dr. Sandra
Discovering the East Wing secrets of the Lawler Exhibit Building.

Thursday, March 19
From Mammoths to Mice — From Spears to Grinding Stones with Dr. Sandra
Continuing the East Wing discovery

Thursday, March 26
Prescott Culture: Pursuit of the Black-on-Gray with Dr. Sandra
Includes the Hilltop Sites and Coalescence

Friday, March 27 – 10 am?
Tour of Fort Whipple Museum with Barbara Harber/Vicki Scott
Discovering the military gem inside one of the officers’s quarters at the old Fort Whipple military installation.

Thursday, April 2
Exhibits of Sharlot Hall Museum: School House, Fort Misery, Ranch House with Mick

Thursday, April 9 – Begins at 10 a.m.?
Exhibits of the Sharlot Hall Museum: Yavapai: People of the Dawn with Linda Ogo
Archaeological and ethnographic information about the Yavapai people presented by the Culture Research Department of the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe.

Thursday, April 16
Engaging the Visitor: Docent and Tour Guide Training with Jenny and Murray

Thursday, April 23
The Grounds with Steve; Rose Garden Kiosk with Jenny

Additional Sessions TBD:
• Collections Tour (April or May)
Due to a reorganizing project in the Collections Department, we will be unable to provide a tour of the basement during Volunteer Training. This tour will be rescheduled for some time in the Spring.
• Educational Resources for School Tours and Programs (May)
This session introduces material used by Volunteers and Staff during school and youth tours, as well as pre-visit and post-visit programs.

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