Reedville Fishermen’s Museum to open Saturday; docents needed

The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum, 504 Main Street, Reedville, will open for the season on Saturday, April 1.

Over the past month, the museum has welcomed a new director, Lee Langston-Harrison, installed new displays, designed new way-finding signage and developed several new activities for kids of all ages.

“We hope to entice, educate and entertain thousands of visitors who are traveling around the Northern Neck with our special brand of exhibits, displays and a new feature, our fun-filled activity centers,” said Susan Lindsey.

As ever, the majority of the day-to-day activities will be carried out by volunteers, the most visible of whom are the docents who greet every guest and ensure that every visit to the museum is both rewarding and enjoyable, said Lindsey.

The mission for the 2017 season is for everyone who comes to the facility to learn something new and interesting, she said.

For the museum to open six days a week, over 100 docents are needed. While some volunteers have been fulfilling this role for many years, each spring sees a new group or “class” drawn from all over the Northern Neck offering their services to the community.

“This is an amazing organization,” said Langston-Harrison. “While the community of Reedville is small, it enjoys incredible support from a wide-reaching membership that provides not merely financial support through annual dues, but also the invaluable contribution of many, many hours of volunteer activity in every aspect of the museum’s operation. Without these committed volunteers, there would be no museum.”

Docents are asked to give a minimum of three hours of their time each month. No previous knowledge of the area, the menhaden industry, or any of the content areas are required: training is provided for all newcomers, who will then be paired with a more experienced partner.

The role of the docent extends from educator and interpreter to a welcoming presence who ensures that every visitor has a pleasant experience at the museum. It is an ideal opportunity for anyone who enjoys meeting new people, learning more about the rich heritage of the Northern Neck and sharing their knowledge with others.

“Last year, we welcomed visitors not only from our surrounding communities, but also from forty-eight different states and thirty-six foreign countries,” said Lindsey, who trains the new docents. “We invite guests to leave a comment about their experience and some typical responses include ‘what a wonderful surprise!’ and ‘Thanks for making the history of our country’s fishing industry so exciting!’ We are justly proud of our museum and of the many volunteers who help visitors to explore everything it offers.”

Anyone interested in becoming a docent should call 453-6529, or email Lindsey at New docent training is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 4. Other dates will be added, as requested.