Museum seeks recruits at social

MARIETTA – A army of about 40 volunteers keep the Campus Martius and Ohio River museums going.

But museum workers say more are needed during the facilities’ busiest times.

Volunteers will be recruited at an ice cream social on April 8 at the Campus Martius Museum where residents can learn to about what it means to be a volunteer.

“The ice cream social will give people the chance to come and meet the volunteers we have and our staff and get an idea of what we’re looking for,” said Glenna Hoff, education and program director for the museum.

“When we have busy times, we can have as few as 20 (patrons, mostly students) or as many as 300,” Hoff said. “When we do, we need more help.”

She said the hope is to get 20 more volunteers by April.

“We need to build our (volunteer) base back up,” Hoff said. “Hopefully this will give us a turnout of people.”

Hoff said volunteers don’t have to do huge amounts of work or give vast amounts of time.

“We’re really flexible about it,” she said. “It’s not this huge time commitment.”

Volunteers are welcome once a week or for a few hours a month.

Nancy Hollister, a volunteer and president of the Friends of the Museum, which oversees the operations of Campus Martius, said volunteers are very important to not only the museum but organizations around the county.

“We get thousands of visitors and quite frankly, thousands of children,” she said.

Volunteer work can be either up front and visible by doing tours and heading activities like loom weaving or behind the scenes by doing research or helping set up for activities. Hoff said that volunteers of all kinds are needed to help make the museum a success.

Hollister added that teaching a class about spinning or candlemaking is helpful.

“Volunteers are crucial; there is a very small staff,” she said.

Training is provided for each volunteer so that they get the history and can then tell it to others, Hoff said.

“People think ‘Oh my gosh I have to be an expert,’ but no you don’t,” she said. “We’re flexible and we do have fun. (The volunteers) are more than volunteers; they’re friends.”

Hollister said volunteers make it all possible by being the “sail in the ship.”

“They’re the backbone of what we’re doing,” she said.