Vesterheim Seeks Volunteers

Do you want to deepen connections in the Decorah community and make new friends? Do you want to further something you’re passionate about while learning something new? Do you love history and art? Vesterheim is seeking volunteers, and we’d love to meet you! There are so many ways to be involved.

Vesterheim volunteers help with all sorts of activities. Volunteers welcome visitors or monitor crafts or treats during programs. They support museum curators with clerical work, visitor services staff with administrative tasks and record-keeping, and maintenance staff with painting and gardening. Another volunteer opportunity is to guide tours. Vesterheim requests that everyone with any interest in guide training to check out the information about guides below.

Some volunteers attend school programs for area youth and help with various crafts and skills, including pressing apple cider, playing old-time outdoor games, and rope making, as well as demonstrating folk art skills like spinning and woodworking. Most support for these programs requires no previous experience.

Vesterheim volunteers are all ages, and youth and young adults are welcome. If you know someone who is building skills, please tell them that volunteering at Vesterheim is a great way to gain or diversify their experience.

Volunteers give invaluable support to Vesterheim visitors, students, and staff. Each volunteer brings a unique combination of skills and enthusiasm. As a Vesterheim volunteer, you always choose how and when you want to volunteer.

The volunteer program at Vesterheim includes opportunities to gather as a group for fun, including an appreciation event every spring.

Chivonne Marlow, who organizes Vesterheim’s volunteer program is ready to talk about your interests and give any instructions or training needed.

Guide Training is Open to all Volunteers

Vesterheim volunteers can also guide tours, both inside the museum building and in Heritage Park. Guides receive tour training of the stories that bring the museum to life.  Even if you don’t choose to guide, the training is great fun for anyone who wants to volunteer and see what it’s all about.

Guide training happens throughout the spring and fall and there are multiple sessions to choose the time that fits your schedule. You will learn about Vesterheim’s core exhibits, stories of Norwegians immigrating to Decorah, the connection between Vesterheim and Luther College, folk art history and skills, and so much more.

For those who choose to guide tours, training includes opportunities to shadow seasoned guides as they lead groups and 1-on-1 practice with the Volunteer Coordinator or other staff. Don’t worry, you won’t guide on your own until you feel ready.

Vesterheim invites everyone to give volunteering a try and see what you enjoy! 

For any questions or to sign up for guide training, please contact Chivonne Marlow, Visitor Services Manager and Volunteer Coordinator at or 563-387-6995.

Upcoming Guide Training Options

Museum Building:
Wednesday, February 21, 10 am-12 pm
Thursday, February 29, 1-3 pm
Wednesday, March 6, 10 am-12 pm
Monday, March 18, 2-4 pm
Tuesday, March 26, 11 am-1 pm

Heritage Park (weather permitting, otherwise indoors):
Thursday, April 4, 2-4 pm
Monday, April 8, 10 am-12 pm
Tuesday, April 16, 1-3 pm
Wednesday, April 24, 9-11 am

Upcoming Volunteer Appreciation Event

April 19, 2-4 pm in Vesterheim Commons


Vesterheim Volunteers Say

“It has been great to get to know and interact with the staff and other volunteers while learning more about the museum. We feel appreciated by the staff, other volunteers, and people who come to Vesterheim.”  – Lynn and David Susag 

“Volunteering is a very enriching experience that yields more than you can imagine.” Karen Nance 

“We volunteer with Vesterheim because we feel that Vesterheim is one of the absolute treasures in Decorah. When we work there, we meet interesting visitors, enjoy a variety of jobs, and work with a competent and enthusiastic museum staff.  – Ed and Joyce Epperly