Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bear With Us exhibit opening

What a great afternoon!  Sun, Feb 15th saw the museum filled with families checking out our latest exhibit about the history and stories of the black and grizzly bears that lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains and surrounding area from the 1700's to the present.  I had a great time pointing out the 'bear cave' to the children for them to crawl into - right in the middle of the museum, but their own private space with pillows to sit on, books, a mat, and a lantern.  Even a bear puppet to play with and have peak out of the cave!  I enjoyed welcoming many of our members who support the museum and attend every exhibit opening, bringing friends and spreading the word to stop by and visit.  We had two new memberships and book sales from the opening.  I talked with people who were interested in learning not only about bears, but also about the overall environment, the other animals that lived with the bears and provided a varied diet to the settlers making a life in San Lorenzo Valley.  People were reading the information panels, comparing their hand to the varied sizes of bear paws, and checking out the different animal traps from the museum's collection.  I had fun talking with so many visitors and hearing their feedback.  I also appreciated the many sponsors of this fun and educational exhibit.   They are listed on our website.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Volunteers make things happen

As Executive Director I am either completely responsible for some tasks or share the responsibility for other tasks, such as a committee member.  My success depends on volunteers who help me in every area that I am responsible for.  From my experience volunteers get involved with an organization for the following reasons: 1)because they like the feeling of giving back to their local community, 2) they feel the organization does good work and contributes to the quality of life of their local community, 3) they are curious about an organization and want to learn more about it on a more intimate level, 4) or they know someone who is already involved on some level with that organization and always speaks very positivity about it.  The bottom line is that volunteers volunteer for a wide range of reasons and the organization couldn't function without a foundation of volunteers with a broad range of skills and experience. 

At the San Lorenzo  Valley Museum we are in the need of volunteers.  I need help in the office with data entering of volunteer hours, sending out membership renewals, tracking bookstore sales, placing event announcements in the various media community calendars, distributing flyers around SLV, and just filing and answering the phone.  I keep getting told that it is easy to find volunteers, but what I have found out in the many years I have been an ED is that everyone loves to help AT an event, but few have time in their busy schedules to commit to a consistent schedule of 2 - 4 hours once or twice a week, 4 hours twice a month, etc.  I can provide training and assign a specific tasks IF I know a volunteer will be at the museum on a specific day for a certain length of time. Also, I am flexible with schedules.

I know that from people driving by the museum it seems like a tranquil place, nothing much happening.  What they don't see is how busy the museum is with working on a new exhibit opening, upcoming events, handling website transactions, data entering of membership renewals and donations information, getting mailings out, visitors stopping by, and a phone that is always ringing.   However, it is fun, rewarding, an eye-opener into our local history, and a feeling of satisfaction knowing you are giving back to YOUR community.  IF this sounds like something you want to get involved with, give me a call or email.  You'll find both on the website.