Thames River Heritage Park has announced a new program to support heritage sites along the Thames River. Modeled after the successful Portland (Maine) History Docent training program, the first Thames River Heritage Park Docent Academy – a 10-week program for current and prospective volunteer guides – will begin Thursday, March 10 and meet from 9 a.m. to noon every Thursday to May.
A collaborative effort between the Thames River Heritage Park Foundation and the heritage sites that make up the park – Avery-Copp House Museum, Bill Memorial Library, Ebenezer Avery House, Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Fort Trumbull State Park, Garde Arts Center, Hempsted Houses, Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Monte Cristo Cottage, Nathan Hale School House, Old Town Mill, NL Black Heritage Trail, Shaw Mansion/NL County Historical Society, Submarine Force Library and Museum / USS Nautilus – the Thames River Heritage Park Docent Academy offers several weeks of lively and informative lectures and presentations, combined with site visits to each participating site.
Sessions include presentations on the history of the South Thames Estuary, visitor experience, the Golden Age, the whaling industry, colonial life, the Battle of Fort Griswold, the burning of New London and more.
“The heritage sites that belong to the park are very enthusiastic about this program. It will give participants a taste of the rich heritage of New London and Groton and familiarize current and new volunteers with the sites and programs to discover and explore on the River Thames,” said Catherine Foley, Managing Director.
Be an Angel is a regular feature. To submit, send an email [email protected]
Upon graduation, TRHP Docent Academy participants become eligible to volunteer at the site(s) of their choice. Site-specific orientation and training is scheduled on an individual basis by the host site.
Graduates are invited to commit to a year of volunteering in a mutually agreeable role at one of the heritage sites or institutional partner agencies.
Registration for the program is $25 and includes private tours of heritage sites, engaging presentations, refreshment breaks, an interpretive guide to the Thames River Heritage Park and the opportunity to earn a diploma in the first class of the Thames River Heritage Park Docent Academy.
This program is made possible by a grant from Connecticut Humanities and members and donors who support the Thames River Heritage Park Foundation. For more information, visit thamesriverheritagepark.org/docent-academy or contact Catherine Foley at [email protected]