Largest group of youth volunteers in Conner Prairie’s history set to serve starting March 27, first day of museum’s 2018 outdoor season
FISHERS, Ind. (Monday, March 12, 2018/Conner Prairie) – Thirty-four students have been selected to be new youth volunteers at Conner Prairie for the 2018 season, raising the total number of youth in the program to the largest group the museum has ever assembled.
Since October, 105 youth ages 10-18 applied – 57 were interviewed and 34 were selected for the program, which will have a total of 118 youth this year.
“While it’s heartbreaking to pick between them, it’s heartening to know there are so many young people excited about history, science and helping others,” said Sarah Morin-Wilson, youth experience manager at Conner Prairie. “The majority of this year’s group consists of girls and more than a third of them are homeschooled. They are actors, Girl Scouts, 4-H members, equestrians, artists, student council members, cosplay enthusiasts, writers and more.”
All youth volunteers at Conner Prairie are required to volunteer for one full year and a minimum of 120 hours. They play historical games with visitors and lead hands-on activities in modern-day clothing as first-person interpreters or portray fictional characters from the 1800s as third-person interpreters in historical costumes. They also volunteer to help care for Conner Prairie’s heritage animal breeds, at special events and behind the scenes.
The new selections underwent initial training on Feb. 17. They toured Conner Prairie’s grounds, played team-building games and created “Horrible Park,” an imaginary theme park that offers the worst customer service in the world so they could begin learning guest services skills.
“This is an attentive and creative group,” Morin-Wilson said. “We invited several older returning youth to assist with training and they were great mentors. Before we open March 27, new youth will go through one more all-day training session, which will include instruction on working in costume and interacting with visitors.”
Spanning more than 1,000 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes nearly 430,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.
ABOUT CONNER PRAIRIE
Spanning more than 1,000 wooded acres in Central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 400,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically-themed encounters and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today. Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization – accredited by the American Alliance of Museums – that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from individuals, corporations and foundations for sustainability and growth. Visit connerprairie.org or call (800) 966-1836 for admission dates, hours, ticket prices and opportunities to donate and volunteer.
Director of Public Affairs