Volunteering at Vesterheim

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are involved at Vesterheim, and new volunteers are always welcome. There are great opportunities for people from many walks of life. You may be able to offer a specific skill or talent, but often, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn are the only requirements for a volunteer task!

Our volunteers are tour guides and folk artists, cooks and servers, clerical and curatorial helpers, translators and teachers, carpenters and painters, and more. Most importantly, each volunteer is an ambassador for Vesterheim.

For questions regarding volunteering at Vesterheim, contact Martha Griesheimer, coordinator of volunteers, at 563-382-9681 ext. 305, or mgriesheimer@vesterheim.org.

Your help is always welcome at Vesterheim!

Vesterheim holds infinite potential for exploration and lifelong learning. Volunteering can be a great experience that evolves over time. The important thing is to get started!

The time commitment to volunteer varies a lot. Some people volunteer weekly, while others help out for a few hours occasionally, or even just once a year. In a typical year, there are about 300 active volunteers who give over 3,000 hours of volunteer time.

Martha says, “the best part of my job is working with volunteers to match them with tasks they will enjoy.”

CURRENT VOLUNTEER NEEDS

Guides (all year, trainings in fall and spring) – Lead group tours in the Main Building and the Heritage Park.

Pioneer Immersion Program (spring) Lead nineteenth-century pioneer activities (churning butter, hand-washing clothes, etc.) for fourth-grade school groups.

Nordic Fest (spring/summer) – Greet visitors, host galleries, and more. Download a Vesterheim Volunteer Help Form for Nordic Fest here. (pdf)

WOW (Window on the World ) Farm Program (fall) – Lead nineteenth-century agricultural activities (pressing apples, threshing grain, etc.) for third-grade school groups.

Norwegian Christmas Celebration (winter) – Greet visitors, host galleries, lead craft programs, help with the coffee shop, and more.

Outreach Event Representatives (all year) – Promote Vesterheim at events around the country.

Guide Training Week

Guide training week is designed to provide background and support to Vesterheim’s guides in a concentrated format twice a year. Volunteers who have indicated an interest in becoming tour guides automatically receive the guide training schedules in the spring and fall. Guide training is scheduled around other activities at Vesterheim and varies in both content and timing.

The overall goal of guide training is to provide information on Norwegian-American history and Vesterheim’s exhibitions and collections, along with safety and security training, and encouragement in the art of leading tours for the museum’s visitors.

If you are interested in volunteering as a tour guide, contact Martha Griesheimer, coordinator of volunteers, at 563-382-9681 ext. 305, or mgriesheimer@vesterheim.org.

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