Volunteer Orientation - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware Ohio

Karen Cowan, Brent Carson, and Donna Meyer greet new volunteers

The Delaware County Historical Society welcomed nine new volunteers at a Volunteer Orientation held at the Cryder Historical Center on East Williams Street.  While volunteers are welcome anytime, The Society holds a Volunteer Fair early each year along with other volunteer recruitment activities.  The Volunteer Orientation is the culmination of this year’s recruitment program.  We currently have around 50 active volunteers plus 50 infrequent (under 5 hours a month) volunteers. Last year, those volunteers logged over 8,500 hours of service to the benefit of Delaware County, preserving and promoting its history.

Volunteer Orientation - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware Ohio

Experienced Volunteers Maggie Webb and Rob Dyson (beside Brent Carson) share their experiences with the new volunteers

The Volunteer Orientation was created by our Volunteer Coordinators, Karen Cowan and Susan Logan, because of suggestions from our own volunteers’ experiences.  The event has several objectives:

  • To equip the new volunteers with a “big picture” view of the society
  • To acquaint them with other volunteers
  • To make them aware of the broad scope of available opportunities

The Volunteer Orientation Agenda

  • Welcome – Board President Brent Carson and Executive Director Donna Meyer
  • “Introduction to The Delaware County Historical Society”
    • A description of what the Historical Society does
    • History of Delaware County Historical Society video
    • Librarian Susan Logan discuss the importance and capability of PastPerfect.
  • Tours of the historic Nash House or Cryder Library

The Society is mostly Volunteers

Volunteer Orientation - Delaware County Historical Society - Delaware OhioThe Delaware County Historical Society is almost entirely a volunteer organization. It was not until 2016, that the first two employees were hired by the Board of Trustees; Executive Director – Donna Meyer, and Barn at Stratford Event Manager – Connie Hoffman.  Our cadre of volunteers do everything in our Society and we do a lot:

  • Public Programs and Exhibits throughout the year
  • Operating, maintaining historic properties; Meeker Homestead Museum, The Barn at Stratford Event Venue, Nash House Museum, and the Cryder Research Library and Museum
  • Welcoming and assisting guests at our historic properties as Docents and as Re-enactors at Programs
  • School Programs to bring our local history into our county classrooms including the award-winning Tote Bag Program
  • Planning, planting, and nurturing the gardens and grounds of our historic properties
  • Research to answer questions from county residents and visitors such as “What is the history of my house?”
  • Encouraging donations of Delaware History materials from the community to preserve the memories of our county
  • Cataloging tens of thousands of donated items; making them readily accessible for exhibits and programs, researchers, and organizational loans such as the “All the Rage” exhibit at the Arts Castle.
  • Planning and Managing the direction and activities of The Society through the Board of Trustees and Committees

New Volunteers are Always Welcome

Each year the Society holds a Volunteer Fair which is a major recruitment event.  All our project leaders present their projects to potential volunteers to entice them to join our volunteer corp.  We also join Ohio Wesleyan’s Volunteer Day to extend our long relationship with the university.

We hold this Volunteer Orientation, as well as mentoring and in-service training opportunities, to ensure each volunteer has the skills and tools they need to feel competent and satisfied with their work.  Every volunteer has the opportunity to grow through new opportunities.

Each year the Society also holds a Volunteer Recognition Event to show our appreciation for each volunteer’s efforts during the prior year. This is a major celebration for us including food, and a video recap featuring our volunteers, and numerous awards.  Every volunteer is invited to attend.

Our volunteers are active every day of the year and any one of them, in addition to our staff, will be very pleased to tell you about volunteering at the Society.  Stop in at any of our historic properties and tell us you would like to volunteer.  Of course, you can send an email to our Volunteer Coordinators at volunteer@delawareohiohistory.org .