What is a docent?
Docents are the volunteers that staff the Bella Vista Historical Museum, as we do not have any paid employees.
Why should I volunteer at the museum?
- The nicest people come into the museum
- The nicest people work at the museum, too!
- It's a flexible volunteer opportunity that can fit many schedules
- You will gain a real appreciation for our beautiful community and its history
How much am I asked to volunteer?
You are only asked to volunteer for one four-hour shift each month. The docents sign up on an online calendar and you can change the day you want every month. We are extremely flexible.
What are the responsibilities of a docent?
Docent responsibilities include opening the museum, greeting the visitors, handling the gift shop, answering questions and closing the museum. There are always two docents on duty, so you will always have another person with you. If your friend or spouse is interested in volunteering too, you can always share a time slot as docents.
Do I get any training?
You would first go through an afternoon training session during regular museum hours, where you will learn all the procedures you need to know. You will also receive a docent manual to take home. During the first few months, we ask that you sign up alongside some our most experienced volunteers so you can shadow them. Along the way, we have education opportunities to learn about the exhibits at the museum and the historic sites around Bella Vista. You will be given a museum polo shirt and name tag of your very own.
When the museum schedules special events, we will often ask the docents if they are able to volunteer to help. These events are completely optional, but there are some (such as the annual open house) where we need all the volunteer help that we can get. Right now, we're not really holding special events, however.
The museum requires that all volunteers be fully vaccinated for the protection of other volunteers and the visitors. Masks are optional, for both docents and visitors. We make masks available at the rolltop desk and hand sanitizer bottles are positioned around the museum.
How do I volunteer?