Park Docent Training Program
Fort Smith National Historic Site has always had a great success rate with its visitor programs and guided tours. In recent years that success has presented a challenge in keeping up with guided tour requests from schools and groups interested in learning more about the park's history and interpretive exhibits. In 2012, after months of preparation and program development, the park began a training program to teach new volunteer recruits how to become museum tour guides. The results have been great.
New recruits are trained in the park's history and site specific stories. Included in the program is extensive training on the methods involved in tour program development and presentation. This provides recruits with the necessary skills to give tours to both large and small groups. Training is an on-going process with classes and required reading offered throughout the year. It's the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in history and public speaking.
The park is looking for the following qualities in potential tour guide recruits: a love of history and the desire to share that with the visiting public. The recruit does not need to be an expert in the park's history because that will be provided as part of the program.
Potential recruits must be willing to make a time commitment of at least 5 hours a week.
For more information about the Museum Tour Guide program contact Volunteer Coordinator Cody Faber at (479) 226-3727, or by email.
Consider the possibilities. You could be the next volunteer tour guide at Fort Smith National Historic Site.
Did You Know?
The conditions at the federal jail at Fort Smith were so horrible that it received the nickname "Hell on the Border." Up to 50 men were crowded into one large cell with limited ventilation and poor sanitary conditions.