Join the team at the Southeastern Railway Museum
Did you know that most of the people you see working at the Museum are volunteers? Ever wonder what it takes to run a locomotive, staff a gift shop, or drive a park train? Do you enjoy working with children on educational programs? Perhaps you prefer something in the background – like working on fundraisers or helping design and build exhibits?
No matter what your interest or skills, the Southeastern Railway Museum offers fulfilling opportunities to get involved. Our dedicated volunteers bring transportation history to life, helping visitors appreciate and understand the cultural, technical, and economic impact of transportation in our region – and they have fun doing it!
Did You Know?
Here are some facts about our volunteers:
- Museum volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds – civil and mechanical engineers, nurses, doctors, IT professionals, accountants, homemakers, educators, PR and marketing professionals, archivists, entrepreneurs, truck drivers, and students
- Museum volunteers range in age from high school students to retirees
- About a quarter of our volunteers are women, who work in every phase of Museum operations
- A typical volunteer gives about 16 hours a month (often as two 8-hour days); volunteer managers work as much as 100 or more hours each month
- Volunteers provide almost 19,000 hours of service each year – a level of service that has been increasing each year
Areas of Interest
Here are just a few of the areas in which volunteers can contribute:
- Train crew (multiple sizes)
- Restorations of equipment
- Gift shop
- Park train crew
- Birthday party hosts
- Track Maintenance
- Exhibit construction, maintenance, and repair
- Landscape maintenance
- Event planning and hosting
- Christmas activities
- Seasonal events
- Group tour guide
- Computer skills (networking, data management, web site maintenance).
Q. What is the museum’s mission?
A. The mission of the Southeastern Railway Museum is to provide an educational atmosphere that will vividly bring to life the cultural, technological, and historical importance of transportation to our region. This is accomplished through the preservation, conservation, and display of publications, memorabilia, and equipment; the operation of historic equipment, and the portrayal of the lives of those people who created and provided that transportation.
Q. Do I have to have experience with trains to volunteer?
A. Not at all. While some of our volunteers have experience in the rail industry, most do not. An interest in the Museum’s mission and a commitment to work are all that is needed.
A. Will my skills be useful?
Q. Almost certainly. The museum relies on volunteers in every aspect of our work, ranging from restoring locomotives or rolling stock to teaching children or answering the phones. Most of the staff you will encounter are volunteers, and so are most of the folk in the “behind the scenes” roles. Whatever your skills, chances are that we need them and you.
A. What if I’m not comfortable with kids?
Q. It’s easy to get the impression some days that the Museum centers around kids. We do have a lot of programs that focus on kids and their families, but that’s only part of what we do. If you aren’t comfortable working with children, you can still easily find a place at the Museum. We have plenty of adults to work with, too!
Q. Do I have to be a member to volunteer?
A. Not at all. We encourage everyone who likes the Museum to become a member, but understand that not everyone wants to or can. Volunteering is a great way to support the Museum all by itself, whether you’re a member or not.
Q. I have physical or mobility limitations. Can I still volunteer?
A. Absolutely! The main buildings are all accessible, and we’ll be happy to work with you to find a role you can enjoy. Some work areas may be out of reach – for instance, locomotive engineers must have good eyesight and hearing, and must me capable of climbing into and out of equipment – but if you want to volunteer, there’s a job that’s just right for you!
Q. Will I need to pass a background check?
A. For some jobs, a background check is required. The Volunteer Coordinator will advise you if will need to run a check, based on the specific volunteer work you may choose to do. No background check will be run without your prior knowledge and consent.
Q. Do I have to buy my own uniform?
A. Volunteers in public-contact positions (like docents, education program aides, and train crew members) are required to wear appropriate clothing, usually a Museum shirt and name badge. We ask that you place a deposit on your first shirt, but you earn additional shirts as you build up volunteer hours. That way, as long as you stay active as a volunteer, you should never need to buy another Museum shirt.
Becoming a Volunteer
Interested in becoming a Southeastern Railway Museum volunteer? Here’s how:
The first step is to fill out an application, Volunteer with the Southeastern Railway Museum.
After reviewing your application, our Volunteer Coordinator will setup an interview with you to discuss current volunteer opportunities, explore your areas of interest, and determine whether your interests and skills match an available position. Placements are based on both volunteer interests and Museum needs.
Once you’ve found your perfect volunteer opportunity, our Volunteer Coordinator will introduce you to Museum policies and practices relevant to your area of responsibility. These guidelines are intended to ensure that volunteers and guests alike enjoy a safe and educational environment.
Applicants should be 18 years of age or older. Younger volunteers are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or Museum-approved supervisor while on site.
Volunteer time keeping on Volgistics