5/2/2011 1:03:00 PM Prime Time Fair 2012 Historical Societies A natural for senior volunteers
Volunteers keep Verde Valley and Sedona history alive at local historical societies like the Clemenceau Museum.
Retired seniors make up the vast majority of volunteers who keep local historical societies functioning, like the Camp Verde Historical Society. Among the many needs are help with museum displays, property maintenance, greeting the public and responding to research requests.
Camp Verde Historical Society 928-567-9560
Clarkdale Historical Society 928-649-1198
Verde Historical Society (Clemenceau) 928-634-2898
Every Tuesday morning for as long as anyone can remember, a group of ladies and the occasional gentleman have gather in the front room of the Camp Verde Historical Society Museum.
Some of them tell stories. Some come to ask questions. But they all eventually busy themselves with the affairs of the society.
Theirs is not a group of spring chickens. Most are over 60. All are under 100.
Some are descendants of pioneer families. Some came to the valley to raise their own families. And some didn't show up until they were retired.
The museum in Camp Verde, like the other historical society museums around the valley, is staffed almost exclusively by seniors.
Babs Monroe is typical of many.
"I always loved people," she says. "After I retried from working at Montezuma Castle, I realized I missed all the people I had seen and met. So I started coming down and greeting visitors. I think the only requirement for this job is that you like people. If you do, you will love it."
The Sedona Historical Society has about 60 volunteers helping with a variety of projects and weekly chores. Over last year they logged over 13,000 hours.
"Almost all our volunteer hours are from people who have retired," says society spokesperson Janeen Travillyan. "They are the ones with their time on their hands to follow their passion.
"The thing about volunteering for a historical society is so many opportunities to help out. We never have too much help around here."
There are jobs available for just about any taste or talent.
There are jobs for those who like to work alone, sipping coffee in the dark in front of a computer screen. There are jobs for those who just can't stop talking and feed off a social setting. There are jobs for those who prefer the outdoors, cutting grass and maintaining a host of old buildings.
And there are jobs for those with specialized talent, like transcribing interviews, maintaining society Web pages or keeping the books.
"Some of our volunteers want to continue leveraging the skills they learned in the workplace, while others absolutely don't want anywhere near what they used to do. They want to do something totally different. Some jobs are seasonal.
"Some are part time. Some are weekly duties. If you have time, we need you. We seem to always have something on our list of things that matches their desire," says Travillyan.
The best way to get started it to call you local historical society. Keep in mind not all of them are open seven days a week so it may take a day or two to get a call back.
Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013
Article comment by:
Dear Verdenews staff ...
Many years ago in 1985, I returned to the USA after a sojourn of about 18 months working in London. I made a tour of the beautiful South-west of the USA (including Arizona and New Mexico), specialising in Native American sites (Anasazi and Hopi).
At Montezuma's Castle, I had the great pleasure of meeting Babs Monroe. I will never forget this wonderful woman and her infectious enthusiasm. Not only was she a pleasure to engage with, but she was a fount of information.
I now live in Europe (since 2001) and I am retired. I often reflect on that wonderful place and that magnificent tour I took. Babs Monroe is a fixture of that vision.
I hope that you will be able to share this message with her.