Volunteers have been an essential part of the museum since it was first dreamt of in Peterborough – from the Metal Shop to the Board of Directors, volunteers are an integral. Since this is National Volunteer Week, I’d like to take a moment to recognize and thank the many people – past and present – who’ve given so much to make the museum the strong, fabulous organization it is today.Whether taking your admission or teaching paddle carving, demonstrating needlework or building display racks, volunteers inform every part of the museum experience.  Many of the non-artifact parts of our exhibits were fabricated by the team, and fabulous Beaver Club Gala is coordinated by a hard-working group who pull together donations, ticket sales, venue negotiations, menu, entertainment… the list goes on!

While many of our volunteers are canoeing enthusiasts, we have many who’ve barely set foot in a canoe. For some, the highlight is the people – the other volunteers, the staff, and most importantly, the visitors from around the world. Anyone who’s spent an afternoon in the museum building a kayak or working in the gift store will tell you that our visitors are eager to share stories, recollections, and interesting information, and rarely does a day go by that we don’t hear some fascinating tidbit from a visitor. The experience of visiting the museum often fills our guests with a spirit that they can’t wait to share, and the volunteers often benefit from that. I often say that if you’re having a bad day, the best cure is a shift on Admissions – it’s hard to stay grumpy when so you’re surrounded by such enthusiasm!

Others find the atmosphere of the museum itself – the rushing water, the heavenly scent of old wood, and the artifacts steeped in Canadian stories – is the thing that compels them to return. Some have told me that there’s something special about our galleries that they can’t quite pin down, but they just love it. Many have a favourite artifact or story that they return to time and again; some discover something new every time they walk through.

With more than 125 active volunteers, the Museum is incredibly blessed to have so many skilled people lend their time and talents to support our Mission.  We had over 10,000 hours contributed in 2011, museum volunteers cheerfully pitching in wherever asked. And with one of the strongest volunteer programs in the county, it’s no wonder so many people join the team!

Some of the benefits of Volunteering at the museum include:

Summer Paddle Party & Dinner, Monthly Coffee Club, Monthly Newsletter, Discounts on purchases and programs, Field Trip to other museums, and Winter Potluck

We can’t stop bragging about the amazing volunteers that work with us every day – If you think this looks like a group you’d like to join, please visit the Volunteers Page on our website, and apply today to be part of the team!