More than a dozen prospective volunteers attended an orientation program last week at the Barton County Historical Museum and Village. While there were several new faces, more volunteers would be welcome, especially on weekends, volunteer coordinator Karen Naylor said.
The museum is now open on weekends as the extended “summer” schedule started Tuesday. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It is closed on Mondays. Winter hours will resume in November.
Office Manager Leslie Helsel showed volunteers how to sign in visitors at the front desk. “We’d like to know everybody that comes in,” she said.
Naylor also explained security and what to do when someone wants to drop off an item to donate to the museum.
“Items have to go through the museum committee to be accepted,” she said. “We don’t just take everything that comes in anymore.”
Museum board member Arlen Schroeder said it’s important to report volunteer hours, which can lead to grants. “RSVP is the primary provider for volunteer hours out here,” he said. Individuals younger than 55 years old are counted through the Volunteers in Action program.
“You will enjoy yourself, I guarantee it,” Schroeder told volunteers. “You will meet some interesting people from time to time.”
Tina Mingenback, executive director of the museum, said there are some special events throughout the year. Victoria Elementary School will send children to the museum this month, and Great Bend USD 428 and Holy Family School third graders will be there on May 1 for the annual Pioneer Day. Mingenback said she also hopes to have museum displays out in the community for the Art and Wine Walk in May and for June Jaunt.
The annual Watching Young Artists Grow exhibit featuring art by students in Great Bend USD 428 grades K-8 is now on display at the museum, located just south of the Arkansas River bridge in Great Bend at 85 South U.S. 281. The students’ colorful works are on display through April 28.
Admission to the museum is $4 for adults. Admission is free to anyone 16 years old and younger and to Barton County Historical Society members. Anyone interested in learning more may call the museum office, 620-793-5125.