In 2017 alone, volunteers contributed 1,620 hours creating a welcoming, engaging atmosphere where children (and adults) learn through play.
Volunteers take part in all sorts of tasks, from assisting with field trips and playing on the museum floor, to working behind-the-scenes on special projects.
You never know what type of fun you’ll end up in as a children’s museum volunteer, and that is especially true for the 77 volunteers who helped build the museum’s Tangle Town structure, along with artist Patrick Dougherty, located on the museum’s four acres of prairie.
In addition, volunteers help us review books, take photos, and help out during special events in the Maker Studio.
We talked to a few of our volunteers about their experience helping out at the museum. Here’s what they had to say:
What is your favorite thing about volunteering at the museum?
“Watching the joy and awe on the children’s faces as they experience all of the exhibits.” –Joan
“I love the flexibility of activities to do when you volunteer. There is so much to choose from, so you never get bored.” –Isaac
“My favorite thing about volunteering at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota is the people.” –Maddie
“I can’t say there is one favorite thing – I love the children but I also love the people who are employed here. They are so positive and helpful.” –Carol
“I don’t have one favorite thing about volunteering at the Children’s Museum, I just really enjoy the atmosphere here!” –Lisa
What made you decide to start volunteering at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota?
“I watched the museum being built and was thrilled that it would be in Brookings! I couldn’t wait to be a part of it!” –Joan
“I wanted to ‘give back’ and the Children’s Museum is an astonishing place – people are learning without even realizing it!” –Carol
Do you have a favorite memory as a volunteer at the museum?
“A little boy about 5 or 6 came up to me out back once and asked, ‘Is that dinosaur real?’ I calmly replied that there were dinosaurs many years ago, but they haven’t been around for a long time. He said “ok” and walked away. About 10 minutes later, he approached me again and said most emphatically, “Hey Lady, you’re wrong! It IS REAL!” –Joan
Are you looking for a place to give back?
To learn more about volunteering at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, contact our Volunteer Coordinator Charles Stuart. The Children’s Museum of South Dakota has a variety of volunteer opportunities, both one-time and ongoing.