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A woman in overalls and a red bandana talks to elementary students next to a World War II Jeep.


A man dressed in historical costume talks to several children in a museum exhibit

The Michigan History Center (MHC) offers volunteer opportunities in key roles such as tour guides, program presenters, gallery assistants, greeters and other services that support the center's mission.

Types of volunteers


Our volunteers help the center by interacting with visitors and offering general assistance. They make our visitors feel welcomed, engaging them during special programming, events and hands-on activities.

Volunteer docent

Docents receive additional training so they can interpret galleries, lead tours and present educational programs. In this way, volunteer docents provide visitors with a greater understanding and appreciation of the center's collections and exhibits.

Getting started

Qualifications, training and benefits

  • Successful candidates for all volunteer categories:

    • Are at least 18 years old; younger volunteers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
    • Communicate effectively.
    • Demonstrate enthusiasm, a positive attitude, good judgment and flexibility.
    • Work well independently and in teams.
    • Have adequate time available to fulfill their commitment.
    • Appreciate history.

    Volunteers must be able to communicate effectively with people of diverse interests, backgrounds and ages. They should be willing to accept new challenges and to seek out information to answer visitor questions and satisfy their own curiosity.

  • View the current training schedule »

    Candidates are asked to attend the following training sessions:

    Initial Volunteer Orientation (all applicants)

    Attendance at volunteer orientation is mandatory for all MHC volunteers. In this session, volunteers will learn about:

    • Our history and mission.
    • Emergency procedures.
    • Key staff members expectations.
    • Etiquette for all volunteers.
    • Benefits of volunteering.
    • Steps for continuing as a volunteer.
    • Information on becoming a docent. 

    Volunteer Docent Group Sessions

    Volunteer docents receive more intensive training so that they are comfortable and prepared to present programs, lead tours and talk about galleries. A series of four group learning sessions is required to begin the volunteer docent training process. The series is offered twice a year; each session lasts about two hours. For each session, trainee volunteer docents will receive an outline of material covered as well as suggestions for further reading. Some sessions may also involve brief homework assignments. The sessions provide information on the museum's galleries, educational programs, education theory and presentation techniques.

  • As a volunteer, you will enjoy:

    • The satisfaction of learning and sharing knowledge.
    • Meeting other people who share your interests.
    • Learning about the work that happens behind the scenes at the Michigan History Center.
    • A 10% discount at the Museum Store.
    • Free parking at the Michigan History Center anytime you volunteer.
    • Educational training sessions.
    • Minimal or no cost opportunities for onsite studies and field trips to enhance knowledge in historical subjects.

    After 100 hours of service, you will receive:

    • A free Household Membership to the Michigan History Museum.