Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Family tour guide training: Summer holiday tours

This month we have been busy training up a group of Museum volunteers to become Family Tour Guides at the Museum. Five volunteers will be running a set of tours, designed especially for families, on Fridays during the summer holidays. This is a pilot project and we are hoping these summer tours are popular so that they continue as a regular weekend offer for families visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum.

To prepare the volunteers to guide families through the Museum and tell them more about the fascinating stories behind the objects, myself and Caroline Moreau from the Volunteers Service ran an interesting, and hopefully not too challenging, training session! During the session the volunteers took part in various activities including charades and asking lots of questions about Museum objects. During charades volunteers were asked to act out a museum object, trying to get the others to guess which Pitt Rivers Museum object they were. This included what the object was, what it was made from, and where in the world it was from.

Volunteers playing Museum Object Charades © Pitt Rivers Museum
Volunteers were also given mystery objects and were asked to write down as many questions that they could possibly ask about the object. It helped that they had no idea what the object was so would ask the most basic questions that perhaps visitors who may never have seen it might ask. This helps the volunteers to understand viewing an object from a visitors point of view. 

Volunteers asking lots of questions about a mystery object © Pitt Rivers Museum
Volunteers were also asked to lead each other around the Museum whilst one of them either partially closed their eyes or looked at the floor. The point if this exercise was to encourage the volunteers to think about how they might guide families around the Museum using just their words. This included guiding people around the physical space and also considering how to describe an object to a large group of people where some people might not be able to see the object on display.

Leading the way: One volunteer leads the other around the Museum
 © Pitt Rivers Museum
During the tours, volunteers will lead families around the Museum to look at five objects from around the world. Families will get the opportunity to see some of our lesser known objects and be able to ask the volunteers lots of questions about them. At the moment, they are working hard, reading up about all the objects and getting ready for the tours which start on Friday 29th July. Come along this summer to meet our great Family Tour Guides.

Carly Smith-Huggins
Families Education Officer 

Explaining a bit more about the five tour objects to the volunteers © Pitt Rivers Museum

No comments:

Post a Comment