Did you know that volunteer docents lead all of Explore Buffalo’s walking tours, including regularly scheduled and private group tours for the general public and school tours for thousands of students from elementary to high school? With hundreds of tours given each year, there are many opportunities to participate.
Being a docent for Explore Buffalo is fun! What could be more thrilling than showing people from around the world Buffalo’s incredible architecture and history? Explore Buffalo is a docent-run organization, with a board of directors composed of active docents and volunteers, so your efforts will be supported and appreciated.
Being a docent is a great way to meet new people within Explore Buffalo or among the organization’s many community partners. Explore Buffalo also organizes regular social events for docents and volunteers.
And, anyone can become a docent! All that’s required is an interest in and passion for Buffalo’s history and architecture. Docents are supplied with thorough background information and reading materials, not a script to be memorized. You will also be encouraged to develop your knowledge of Buffalo and your unique voice as a storyteller conveying the growing and changing story of our city.
The Spring 2019 Docent Training Program will train new docents for the Best of Buffalo downtown walking tour. Taking other Explore Buffalo walking tours is suggested preparation for docent training to become familiar with the organization’s walking tours. The Best of Buffalo tour is offered regularly on weekdays and weekends during Explore Buffalo’s tour season from April through October.
New docents are asked to learn a second tour of their choosing within one year of completing their graduation tour, either through a scheduled training class or one-on-one with a mentor.
The Spring 2019 Docent Training Program will be offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, from 9 a.m. to noon, April 29 through May 10. A graduation tour will be scheduled upon completion of the course.
Attendance is essential; applicants who will miss more than one class should consider other volunteer opportunities with Explore Buffalo. Due to space constraints for the Docent Training Program, Explore Buffalo is unable to accept docent trainees who will miss multiple classes.
Classroom sessions will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Symphony Circle. Field sessions for specific tour training will take place downtown.
Anyone interested in joining the Docent Training Program should fill out the online application form as the first step of the application process. The application deadline is Friday, April 19.
After reviewing your application, Explore Buffalo will contact you by phone to discuss the program and your interests in Buffalo architecture, history and more. Explore Buffalo will notify all applicants regarding acceptance into the Spring 2019 Docent Training Program via email. Space is limited in the Docent Training Program.
Upon acceptance, a course fee of $95 will be required from participants. This course fee covers the cost of printing and other materials for the course, and includes a portable microphone, Explore Buffalo messenger bag and other tour supplies.