Tinker Swiss Cottage hosts Volunteer Fair Jan. 22

From press release

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens will open its doors for a Volunteer Fair from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 22.

Staff and Tinker volunteers will be on hand to discuss the various volunteer opportunities that exist at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens. Volunteers ages 13 and older are encouraged to attend.

Information sheets will be available for potential volunteers. Docents, or tours guides, lead the tours of Tinker’s Cottage. Previous knowledge of Rockford history is not required as all needed information will be provided in a tour book and through the free training sessions.

Tinker Garden volunteers are needed to help plan and care for the various Tinker gardens that include: the Iris Garden, the Heirloom Vegetable Garden, the Victorian Rose Garden, the Railroad Gardens and the Illinois Prairie Meadow Garden that is currently being planned to begin in the spring of 2011.

The Museum Gift Shop and Welcome Desk is another area where volunteer help is needed. Some experience with computers is required for this position.

Tinker also hosts activities and events throughout the year where volunteer help is needed, such as: the Valentine’s Day Open House, the New Glarus Festival, the “Tinker with Music” Summer Concert Series and Family Fun Days on the second Saturday of each month.

All volunteers receive a Tinker polo shirt, a lanyard name tag and training. Plus, for each hour of donated time the volunteer will receive a “Tinker Buck,” which can be used in the Tinker Museum Gift Shop.

Volunteer meetings take place on a monthly basis and feature a guest speaker in addition to time to socialize and enjoy refreshments. The garden volunteers will begin meeting in October to talk about and plan next year’s gardens.

Tinker was also involved with the SWIFTT Community Garden this year, and hopes to continue working with that garden again next year.

A teen docent team is being created as an opportunity for juniors and seniors in high school to gain experience working with multiple age groups in a museum environment. Younger students will work as docent assistants, and all students will be encouraged to help at the variety of events at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens.

Refreshments will also be available in the Visitor’s Center located with the Museum Gift Shop in the Tinker Barn.

For more about the Volunteer Fair at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, call (815) 964-2424 or e-mail bbroyles@tinkercottage.com. For more about the museum and gardens, visit Tinker’s website at tinkercottage.com.

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