|Volunteer Training Signups Continue|
Apply today and help keep the trains (and America's most popular Railroad Museum) rolling!
The California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento State Historic Park (OSSHP) hold three Docent Training Classes throughout the year. Beginning immediately, men and women interested in helping to communicate the West's fascinating heritage of railroading and the California Gold Rush are invited to contact the Museum to be notified about upcoming classes. For additional details or to sign up, please call the Museum's Volunteer Training Coordinator, Theresa Gonsolis, at (916) 324-7593.
Anyone who has ever visited the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento SHP knows who the Museum's docents are. Dressed in railroad garb or other period attire, they answer questions and discuss history with guests. There are many other volunteers, too: During 2007, some 500 men and women were active with the Railroad Museum's programs including weekend steam train operations, track construction, restoration and maintenance, even clerical work. Since the Museum's 1976 inception, volunteers have contributed over 2 million hours of service!
As part of their training, candidates are encouraged to consider participating in one or more Museum programs. For example, volunteers may choose to serve as docents and Museum tour guides; participate in hands-on, interactive educational programs for school groups; become involved with train operations on the Sacramento Southern Railroad; or orient visitors at Old Sacramento State Historic Park's historic Eagle Theatre and the Huntington & Hopkins Hardware Store. Volunteer training represents a serious commitment, but the hours are flexible and the rewards can be tremendous.
If you don't have a history background, don't worry! Most of our volunteers began with little knowledge of railroads or the Gold Rush. As they become more familiar with the Museum's varied and frequent programs, many volunteers take on additional responsibilities, such as conducting research or giving talks to community organizations about the Museum. There are no fees charged. Perks for active volunteers include free parking while on duty, invitation to an annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet, complimentary Museum membership, and the chance to meet new, interesting people. A minimum annual commitment of 84 hours is required for active Museum volunteers.
Operated by California State Parks with assistance from the non-profit CSRM Foundation, the California State Railroad Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Widely regarded as North America's finest and most-visited interpretive railroad museum, the complex of facilities includes the 100,000-sq ft. Railroad History Museum, plus the reconstructed Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station and Freight Depot, 1849 Eagle Theatre, and Big Four and Dingley Spice Mill buildings in Old Sacramento.