If you are confident speaking to groups in public, are able to communicate clearly, and are interested in local history, you might be just who the Fairhaven Office of Tourism is looking for. Tourism Director Chris Richard is looking for a few good people who could serve as volunteer guides or presenters for some of the walking tours and historical programs that his office provides to the public from spring through the fall. Don’t worry about whether or not you know about Fairhaven history. That can be learned quite easily. More important is the ability to capture the attention of the audience and give them a fun and informative experience.
Prior tour guiding experience is not required. However, the ability to create a rapport with the public is important. “Fairhaven has had a couple of volunteers with tour-guide experience,” Mr. Richard explains. “But there have been teachers, too, and those with backgrounds in amateur theater. Guiding a tour is like putting on a small educational show. Volunteers can either copy existing tour scripts more or less exactly or create wording and tour routes of their own. We’ll work together to develop the tour, do some practice walks together and then they will be on their own. Tour guides can carry note cards or a clipboard. There is no need to memorize everything.”
It’s important to note that tour guides are not required to dress in costume, though that option is open to those who wish to. Neat casual dress is fine. For people who want to wear period clothing or act as a character in some of the historical programs, a variety of resources are available. Guides must be able to move about easily for extended periods of time and to access a variety of indoor and outdoor locations.
Currently, the Office of Tourism offers walking tours of Fairhaven center with an emphasis on Henry H. Rogers, Riverside Cemetery, and the historical Poverty Point neighborhood. There are also two historical programs given at Fort Phoenix with actors in costume—the Pirates & Privateers Presentation focusing on the Revolutionary War era and “Dreadful Medicine” about historical medical practices and cures in the 1700s and 1800s. “I would also be open to the creation of completely new tours or programs that would be fun and interesting to the public, too,” Mr. Richard says. “In fact, over the winter I’m going to be working to ‘spice up’ the center tours with a little more historical scandal and gossip and maybe change the name of the tour to try to attract a new audience.”
The Office of Tourism provides regularly scheduled public tours from late spring to early fall. Custom tours are also arranged throughout the year for groups including school classes, clubs, assisted living groups, scout troops and other organizations.
If you would be interested in becoming a volunteer tour guide for the Fairhaven Office of Tourism, you may email Chris Richard at email@example.com or call him at 508-979-4085.
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