Volunteer Training Schedule 2021

Discover your personal pathway for helping present Arizona’s heritage at the Sharlot Hall Museum in our free volunteer training program. This course prepares you to become a volunteer, docent, archival assistant, and more at both Sharlot Hall and Fort Whipple museums. The schedule of free classes begins Thursday, February 11, 2021, and continues throughout the year, typically on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Masks are recommended on the Museum campus for unvaccinated individuals.

Training Update and Schedule – 2021

Sessions provide historical background to help volunteers share their personal passion for local history. Unless noted, all times will be 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Our current schedule:

Thursday, February 11 — Introduction to the Sharlot Hall Museum
Overview of present Museum mission, structure, funding, exhibits, collections and programs.

Thursday, February 25 — General Guidelines for Museum Volunteers
Introduction to volunteer roles relating to the Education Department, including:  building docents, tour guides, as well as special project, event and festival volunteers.  Also a brief overview of policies and procedures for all volunteers.

Thursday, March 11 — Sharlot M. Hall: A Biographical Sketch
Jenny Pederson presents an overview of Sharlot Hall (1870-1943), the founder of the Museum, and poet, historian and essayist who was an original and strikingly independent thinker.  Following the presentation, those interested in volunteering in the Museum Store will meet with Nancy Hans in the Bashford House for 20 minutes of orientation on the store.

Thursday, March 25 — Collections Talk and Tour
Kylin Cummings, curator of collections, presents an overview of the variety of the Museum’s more than 40,000 objects. The collection is wide and diverse, and covers a number of different categories ranging from automobiles to scooters, silver tea sets to prehistoric ceramics, and so much more!

Thursday, April 8 — The 1864 Territorial Governor’s Mansion
Mick Woodcock, chief curator, and volunteer Jim Pool discuss the centerpiece of the Museum complex, and the only historic building originally on this site.  Presentation includes history, occupancy, structural/cosmetic modifications, and restoration/stabilization work undertaken by the Museum.

Thursday, April 22 — The Frémont House:  John C. and Jessie Benton Frémont
Murray Smolens discusses the history of the Frémont House and the Frémont family story, with emphasis on the Arizona Territory years and John C. Frémont’s initiatives as Territorial Governor.

Saturday, May 1 — Focusing on the Visitor:  Expectations, Experiences, and Engagement — 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Volunteer Mike King, along with Dani Schulze and Jenny Pederson, provide this workshop that will allow seasoned (and new) volunteers to update their skills in working with Museum visitors. Specific topics that will be discussed include:  audience experiences and expectations, learning methods and educational tools, engagement strategies and tips, and Museum resources.  This session geared to new trainees who want to be docents or tour guides, and lunch will be provided.

Thursday, May 13 — Exhibits of the Sharlot Hall Museum:  Transportation Building, Sharlot Hall Building, Territorial Arizona Exhibits
Mick Woodcock, chief curator, details the history and exhibits of the Transportation Building;  followed by volunteer Jim Pool detailing this history of the “House of a Thousand Hands” — the stone building Ms. Sharlot had built during the Great Depression, as well as its exhibits featuring Territorial Arizona and the “Baskets.”

Thursday, May 27 — Archives and Research Methods
Archivist Brenda Taylor offers a tour of the Museum’s Research Center, including catalog of resources. Limited to 40 participants.

Thursday, June 10 — “Beasts!”
Dr. Sandy Lynch, adjunct curator of archaeology, details the prehistory of Arizona’s Central Highlands, featuring the exhibits of the Lawler Center East Wing, from the time of the “Beasts!” and their impact on indigenous peoples and cultures. Part one of three multimedia presentations

Thursday, June 24 — “From Mammoths to Mice, From Spears to Grinding Stones”
Part two of a troika of presentations by Dr. Sandy Lynch, this provides more history of prehistory settlement of indigenous peoples and cultures.

Thursday, July 22 — “Prescott Culture:  Pursuit of the Black-on-Gray”
Part three, Dr. Lynch outlines the development of the Prescott Culture, its survival techniques and ultimate coalescence before the introduction of European (Spanish, English) and American interventions.

Friday, July 30 — Introduction and Tour of Fort Whipple Museum — 10 a.m. at Fort Whipple Museum
Tentative — Volunteer Vicki Scott introduces you to the companion Museum at the nearby VA Hospital, where the military presence protected early settlers (miners, ranchers, and business people) of Prescott, and served a key role during the Indian Wars in the Arizona Territory.

Thursday, August 5 — Exhibits of the Sharlot Hall Museum:  Yavapai – People of the Dawn
Linda Ogo, from the Culture Research Department of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, provides archaeological and ethnographic information about the Yavapai people.

Thursday, August 19 — Focusing on the Visitor:  Your Role as a Docent or Tour Guide
Dani Schulze and Jenny Pederson focus on methods and strategies for engaging with visitors as a Docent or Tour Guide.

Thursday, September 2 — Exhibits of the Sharlot Hall Museum:  School House, Fort Misery, Ranch House
Mick Woodcock, chief curator, will highlight the three “out” buildings on the Museum campus, including the oldest surviving log cabin in Arizona (Fort Misery).  In addition to regaling you with its naming, Woodcock will tell of Fort Misery’s significant role in the history and founding of Prescott, the background of why Ms. Sharlot had a Ranch House built on the campus, and the influence of the School House on Prescott politics..

Thursday, September 16 — The Gardens and Grounds of Sharlot Hall Museum
Steve Whitley, chief groundskeeper, outlines the history of the four-acre campus, as well as the development of its lush gardens, the spectacular Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden, the new Yavpé Ethnobotanical Garden, and the ground’s flora and fauna.  An after-the-session guided tour may be featured.