The Pennsbury Volunteer Program
We have a wide variety of opportunities available, depending on your interests and availability. Each job is important to fulfilling Pennsbury’s mission and bring the 17th Century alive for visitors. No previous experience is required, however certain skills may be useful, depending on the position. For example, volunteers seeking to become tour guides should have some public speaking ability and enjoy meeting new people. As long as volunteers are willing to learn and commit the time for program orientation, we will make sure you are fully prepared for your chosen area(s).
We have a wide variety of opportunities available for all ages and interests. Please check out the Volunteer Opportunities listed below. Remember, no previous experience is required – we offer Basic Training for all volunteers and will make sure you’re prepared!
Volunteer Tour Guides help us lead our regularly-scheduled public tours, which are offered Tues.-Sat. four times/day. They are responsible for taking groups of all ages through the Manor House and Kitchen House. Tour Guides must be flexible and able to adapt depending on group’s size, age, and interests.
On Sunday afternoons and during special events, we station our Guides throughout the Manor House, Kitchen House, and other outbuildings as visitors wander through at their own pace. Stationed Guides are asked to speak briefly about the room(s) they are assigned and answer visitor questions.
School Program Guide
We offer several different school programs on weekdays in the Spring/Fall, and our School Program Guides help us guide children of varying grade levels through each area. This could mean taking classes on a tour of the buildings or being responsible for an area/activity the children visit. School Program Guides must be skilled at handling large groups of children and using hands-on activities to create a fun experience.
Trades & Crafts Demonstrator
During our Sundays at Pennsbury programs, weekday school programs, and Special Events, volunteers offer demonstrations of 17th-century trades and crafts. Our three largest programs are Blacksmithing, Joynery (a form of wood-working), and Open-Hearth Cooking. We also demonstrate wool-carding and spinning, laundry, soap-making, chair-caning, beer-brewing, cider-pressing, and medicinal remedies depending on volunteer interest and talent.
Living History Theatre
Our troupe of “role-players” research events/people/culture in the 17th-century and develop programs for visitors and special events. Programs are usually scheduled on the second Sunday of the month from March through October Sundays at Pennsbury Volunteers must be available for Tuesday evening meetings program days.
Historical Clothing Sewing Society
We are looking for volunteers with basic or advanced sewing skills to help us create the period clothing worn by all our Tour Guides and Demonstrators. The group meets one Saturday per month to cut out patterns and work on projects, taking clothes home to work on in-between meetings. No previous historical knowledge required – we will teach you any new techniques required. Clothing uses a combination of machine and hand sewing.
A colonial farm just doesn’t seem alive without the sight – and smell – of real animals! Volunteers make it possible for us to house real oxen, horses, sheep, and more in Pennsbury’s stableyard. They are responsible for keeping the animals fed and stables clean 24/7. Volunteers are asked to commit one morning or afternoon shift per week. Shifts are usually no more than an hour, and even less during pasture season. Animal Caretakers are mainly behind-the-scenes, but they are given the opportunity to be a Stationed Guide in the stable yard during special events.
With over 43 acres we need plenty of volunteers to help us care for Pennsbury’s gardens. Volunteers can come in any day that suits their schedule to help with planting, weeding, harvesting, etc. Although volunteers are responsible for arranging volunteer time in the gardens, the gardener will occasionally request help with special projects. Like the animal caretakers, this is primarily behind-the-scenes work. However, garden volunteers are given the opportunity to be a Stationed Guide in the Kitchen Garden during special events.
If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer, please click here to submit an application.