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  • Guides make exploring the Eiteljorg fun

    by Jaq Nigg | Aug 31, 2012

    by Cathy Burton, Beeler Family director of education

     

    What is an Eiteljorg Guide?
    The Education Department at the Eiteljorg runs a training program and continuing education for the guides (aka docents) who lead museum tours. As the Director of Education, I get to train the volunteers who will become the museum’s guides. The guides are a fun group of people whose commitment of time and energy to the museum is very important to the Eiteljorg’s ability to fulfill its mission. They’re an integral part of the Eiteljorg family.

     

    Each October, we start a new guide training class that covers museum content, touring techniques, learning styles and other topics. The best part? There’s no final exam! I’ve already met with several interesting people who’ve signed up and more are welcome. After training there are monthly meetings for continuing education. Guides are greatly needed. In fact, each year requests for guided tours increase.

    What are some the best parts about being a guide?
    ∙ Be a teacher for an hour and then say good-bye!
    ∙ Meet visitors from all over the globe.  
    ∙ Help host special events.
    ∙ Have engaging and often witty conversations with guests.
    ∙ Be part of a wonderful team who encourage, help and develop talents.
    ∙ Great guide meetings – with snacks.
    ∙ Occasional guide-focused field-trips to bison farms and other museums.
    ∙ Access to an abundance of resources focusing on the American West and Native Americans
    ∙ Discount at the cafe & gift shop.

     

    What do Eiteljorg guides have to say?
    "
    Looking back over the years to my guide training and subsequent tours at the Eiteljorg, I have all positive memories. I've met so many nice people on the tours; so many talented artists (both at the Indian Market and as Artists-in-Residence); so many friendly fellow guides; and so many helpful people on staff!”

     

    “I've learned so much – about Native Americans and the settling of the West – that I can share with visitors of the Eiteljorg. I am focused, knowledgeable and confident – all due to the training and help I've received along the way. More information is always available pertaining to all kinds of subjects relating to Native Americans and the settlers of the West. There's always more to experience!”

     

    “Being an Eiteljorg guide is the next best thing to living in the Wild West - art, history and romance all in one place!”

     

    Are there more exciting reasons to become an Eiteljorg Guide?
    ∙ We also have a book club and knitting group.
    ∙ The monthly meetings offer intellectual stimulation.
    ∙ The chance to meet other people who have a love for the American West and Native Americans.
    ∙ It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community, especially for retired and stay-at-home folks
    looking for a part-time outlet for special talents
    ∙ Great excuse to come down to a beautiful museum often.
    ∙ Previews walk-throughs of exhibits with curators, artists and visiting experts.
    ∙ The annual guide luncheon, a swanky celebration to thank guides for time and service.
    ∙ The chance to participate in special events like Indian Market and Festival, Quest for the West and WestFest.

    Do amazing things happen on tours?
    After a tour, one guide looked like she was on Cloud Nine. She told me that the teacher in her group had been one of her high school students years ago. The former student beamed at her; introduced her to her class; and said that because of her, their guide, she had become a teacher.  Can you imagine how that felt? Guides do know the good and the differences they make. They get warm thanks and occasional fan mail. They are appreciated by visitors and the museum staff.

     

    How can you become a valued Eiteljorg guide?
    Maybe you or someone you know would like to join the next training program? The weekly meetings are on Mondays from October 1 through January 28. Contact Deborah Kish, our volunteer services manager, at dkish@eiteljorg.com  if you are interested in becoming part of the Eiteljorg Education Department

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