Current Volunteer Opportunities
The primary role of Docents is to lead Museum tours for both school aged children and adult groups. Museum tours cover the areas of Erie Canal and New York State history, the Syracuse salt industry, and the development of the city of Syracuse. School tours reflect the New York State Curriculum Standards for Social Studies and concentrate on the fourth grade, which studies the Canal as part of these standards. Docents are also involved in Museum outreach to area schools, community centers, retirement communities, places of worship, and other organizations interested in the history of the Erie Canal. Workshops and public programs are also becoming an important area of Docent participation.
Each year the Erie Canal Museum transforms its changing gallery into a festive 1800’s street scene, with over 30 gingerbread creations on display in storefront windows. These sweet creations are made locally by professional and amateur bakers. A Gingerbread Ambassador is responsible for greeting and collecting tickets and money for the event. We have two three-hour time slots available every day that the gallery is open. You can learn more about the Gingerbread Gallery here.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Erie Canal Museum, please fill out this form. Volunteers are selected through an application process. Successful applicants are able to demonstrate skills applicable to the volunteer need, like the ability to work comfortably with diverse groups of people, to have strong public speaking skills, and the ability to present accurate historical information in a clear manner.
Statement of Ethics for Volunteers
Volunteer participation within the Erie Canal Museum is a strong and vital tradition, and Museum programs could not continue without the contributions and involvement of devoted volunteers. Museum employees will be supportive of volunteers, respect volunteers contributions, and willingly provide them with appropriate training and opportunity for their intellectual enrichment.
Volunteers have a responsibility to the Museum, especially those with access to collections, programs, and vital information. Access to Museum activities is a privilege, and the lack of material compensation for effort expended on behalf of the Museum in no way frees the volunteer from adherence to the standards that apply to Museum employees. Volunteers must work toward the betterment of the institution and not for personal gain other than the natural gratification, knowledge and enrichment inherent in Museum participation.
Volunteers should not accept gifts, favors, discounts, loans, or dispensation of things of value that accrue to them from other parties in connection with carrying out duties of the Museum. Conflict of interest restrictions and gift policies placed upon Museum employees must be explained to volunteers and observed by them. Volunteers must respect the confidentiality of any private or sensitive information to which their volunteer activities give them access.