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 16-week schedule of informative, free classes begins Thursday, January 10, 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.


Thursday, January 10
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 17
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 24
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 31
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 twenty minutes of orientation to the store.

Thursday, February 7
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 14
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. 21
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 23
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 28
Exhibits of the Sharlot Hall Museum: Transportation Building with Mick
Sharlot Hall Building and Territorial Arizona Exhibits with Jim Pool

Thursday, March 7
Archives and Research Methods with Brenda

Tour of Archives, including catalog of resources. Limited to 40 participants

Thursday, March 14
Beasts! with Sandra

Thursday, March 21
From Mammoths to Mice — From Spears to Grinding Stones with Sandra

Thursday, March 28
Prescott Culture: Pursuit of the Black-on-Gray with Sandra

Friday, March 29 – 10 am?
Tour of Fort Whipple Museum with Barbara Harber/Vicki Scott

Thursday, April 4
Exhibits of Sharlot Hall Museum: School House, Fort Misery, Ranch House with Mick

Thursday, April 11 – 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 18
Engaging the Visitor: Docent and Tour Guide Training with Jenny and Murray

Thursday, April 25
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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