Tinker volunteer orientation sessions offered Tuesdays in January

From press release

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens will offer All-In-One Orientation Sessions for Tinker volunteers that will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,Tuesdays, Jan. 4, 11, 18 and 25. This all-in-one “immersion” session combines all of the information formerly offered on multiple days into a one-day orientation program. The All-In-One Orientation Session will make it easier for individuals who want to volunteer at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens but can’t fit multiple days of orientation into their schedule.

Becoming a Tinker volunteer is a great way for individuals to meet new people and to learn about the Tinker Swiss Cottage and the families who lived there during the Victorian Era. Robert Tinker built the Cottage in 1865, married John Manny’s widow Mary in 1870 and became mayor of Rockford in 1875. Tinker became one of the founding members of the Rockford Park District in 1909 and contributed to the landscape design of Sinnissippi Park as well as his own Victorian gardens.

Tinker Swiss Cottage offers volunteers many opportunities to make new friends and to become involved in new activities. Several potluck get-togethers are offered during the year, in addition to special trips and group outings.

Tinker also presents “The Ruth Lunde Volunteer of the Year” in April to honor an outstanding Tinker volunteer at the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. The orientation is free, and all that is required is the willingness to learn and to share what is learned with others.

The orientation day will begin with coffee and breakfast pastries and an introduction to Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens and how it fits into the community of Rockford, presented by Executive Director Beverly Broyles. Staff will present information about the Manny, Tinker and Dorr families. Following a break for the box lunch that will be provided for the participants, staff members will continue with a discussion about the buildings and grounds and the artifacts and objects.

Volunteers in training to become docents (tour guides) will devote the final hour of the session to learning how to provide visitors with the ultimate tour when visiting Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens. Instructions with regard to reading the audience, addressing multiple age groups, and utilizing body language will also be presented.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens also has need for volunteers who are interested in greeting visitors, doing research, working in the heirloom gardens, taking admission money and making sales in the Museum Gift Shop.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, a Rockford Park District affiliate, is an educational, not-for-profit institution, dedicated to the preservation of and access to historic Tinker Swiss Cottage, its collections and the legacy of the Robert H. Tinker family for the community-at-large.

To register for the All-In-One Training, call (815) 964-2424, or e-mail Beverly Broyles at bbroyles@tinkercottage.com. To learn more about Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, visit the Tinker website at tinkercottage.org.

From the Dec. 29-Jan. 4, 2011 issue

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