Volunteer Committee

(Note: Please do NOT edit this page. To submit ideas for recruiting and retaining volunteers, please go to the Volunteers at AWHC page).

Committee Guidelines

Thanks for being willing to serve on the Volunteer Committee!

Committee Meeting Times:
1st Thursday of each month.
4-5 pm at the American West Heritage Center

The Volunteer Committee is an action-oriented committee that will plan, recruit, and manage volunteers at the American West Heritage Center. Ultimately, our goal is to manage volunteers in such a way as to make the American West Heritage Center into a world-class, living history and outdoor folk-life attraction that will attract both local visitors and tourists from outside our immediate area. The Committee will assist in this venture by doing the following:

• Attend monthly meetings.

• Assist in planning and idea-gathering.

• Take responsibilities for various elements of volunteer recruitment and management as assigned by the chair and work to complete them.

• Organizing, when needed, ad hoc committees and subcommittees to assist in the completion of assignments.

• Provide ideas for volunteer recruitment and retention, both in the short and long terms.

Committee Meeting Minutes for Feb. 1, 2007

Committee Members Present: David Sidwell, chair; Gary Chambers; Liz Johnson; Lorraine Bowen, volunteer coordinator; Carey Dufner, development coordinator.

1. Volunteers at AWHC: Overview (we briefly went through the attached sheet “Volunteers at AWHC”)

2. Report from meeting in SLC: Lorraine explained that we met with Kate Lowder to see how This Is The Place handles their volunteers. The meeting was well worth the trip, and we got lots of ideas from her.

3. Conference March 9-10: We announced again this conference, that should be fun and inexpensive for volunteers and their families.

4. Volunteer Orientation, Feb. 24! See attached forms “2007 Volunteer Application” and “Volunteer Orientation.” The committee responded favorably to the “round robin” style format and agreed that a fun, family-friendly evening would be the key to not only exciting volunteers, but also in getting them to invite their friends to the next orientation. Liz indicated that she and her staff would fill in the pedagogical blanks for the Orientation such as the activities. David indicated that this was only an ORIENTATION and not a training session. Training would occur by having volunteers learn a “script” of the 8 – 12 most important things about a site or area, and then expanding on that knowledge through things like mentoring, personal research, workshops, and hands-on experiences. All agreed that this sounded like a good method.

Gary indicated an enthusiasm for letting LDS stakes up at USU about volunteer opportunities also—especially large group opportunities. He recommended that we come up with a flier or handout of sorts that would “very clearly” articulate the needs for service, and some of the main benefits to individuals and groups. He graciously offered to critique such a flier so that it was as clear, succinct, and effective as possible. David and James will work on this and have it done by the end of next week.

6. Volunteer Certification: See handout “Volunteer Historical Presenter Certification Program”. David reviewed the form, indicating that this was really just an idea. All seemed to react to it favorably, and Lorraine and David will look at it further, and fill in the blanks. Any suggestions are most welcome! Some suggestions were to include points for personal research (we could have a suggested readings list, for instance), handbook mastery, and extra points for going to workshops on topics in which they don’t volunteer.

5. Return to overview for brainstorming. We really only brainstormed, because of lack of time, on the “What can we offer volunteers?” section of the “Volunteers at AWHC” handout. Additional items added include: (7) warm, fuzzy feeling, (8) resume building, (9) leaving a legacy of action, (10) opportunities to teach kids “good, hard work, (11) social interaction, (12) opportunities for responsibility, (13) opportunities for service.

7. Just before leaving, Gary had some great suggestions about groups and volunteering. He indicated that it might be effective to recognize organizations who volunteer at the AWHC with some kind of service award. He called this an “organizational service award.” The entire committee was jazzed about this idea! Gary will be very helpful in coaching us to help organizations make volunteering here a perennial activity.

We finished the meeting at exactly 5 pm, but then had some great ideas flowing again for another 15 minutes.


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