Volunteers & Museum Guides
Be Part of History in your Community!
Do you have an open mind and enjoy engaging with people who share a common passion for history, lifelong learning, and community engagement? Join Plimoth Plantation's Volunteer & Museum Guides Program! Volunteers & Museum Guides work in support of and alongside our staff fulfilling the Museum's mission to provide powerful personal encounters with history. They are:
- Guides on the Living History exhibits
- Caretakers of historic gardens and landscapes
- Greeters, golf cart drivers, and ushers at the Plimoth Cinema
- Makers & innovators in the Marine Shop and at the Plimoth Grist Mill
- Special programs and event support
- Behind-the-scenes alongside our curators and historians
and so much more...
Volunteer opportunities at Plimoth Plantation are available based on departments’ needs, and therefore not only opportunities may be available at all times. Each opportunity is different and may require its own unique blend of skills and experience. Many do not require a formal history background. All Volunteers & Museum Guides should be curious, enthusiastic, and eager to learn new things. The volunteer schedule is flexible and includes seasonal and weekend shifts.
How do I become a volunteer at Plimoth Plantation?
Complete and submit the online volunteer application. You will receive acknowledgment of your application within one week. Please note: Due to the volume of applications received, only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
If you are interested in group volunteering through a school, business, or community organization including Boy or Girl Scouts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact email@example.com with any additional questions or to inquire if the volunteer opportunity you are interested in is currently accepting applications.
Volunteer Orientation & Training
Plimoth Plantation's Volunteers and Museum Guides make friends, learn something new, and have fun doing it! All new volunteers participate in a once-weekly, 6 week Volunteer Orientation & Training program. Each session usually lasts just under two hours. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or if you would like further information. The next Volunteer Orientation & Training will be offered in Spring 2020.
Volunteer opportunities at Plimoth Plantation are available based on departments’ needs, and therefore not only opportunities may be available at all times. Some volunteer opportunities may require an in-person interview.
Museum Guides are passionate about history and delight in sharing their knowledge with thousands of guests each year! Museum Guides work in the living history exhibits (including the 17th-century English Village, Wampanoag Homesite, and Plimoth Grist Mill) answering guests' questions about the Indigenous and Colonial communities who lived along these shores of change in the 1600s from a modern, 21st-century perspective.
Guest Services Volunteers
Guest Services volunteers greet people from near and far, assist with wayfinding, and help guests discover our shared histories. Flexible weekday and weekend shifts are available.
Horticulture Volunteers care for the Museum’s 120-acre campus which includes 17th and 20th-century historic, border, and perennial gardens as well as off-season work in the greenhouses. Horticulture Volunteers also help out during the annual Heirloom Plant Sale alongside Museum staff.
Plimoth Cinema Volunteers
Share your love of movies as a volunteer with Plimoth Cinema, the South Shore's only art-house cinema. Volunteers support cinema operations by helping with concessions and keeping the theatres ready for their close-up before enjoying the film themselves.
Public Programs & Special Events
Public Programs & Special Events volunteers help to facilitate the Museum's public programs and special events including Lunch & Learn, Plimoth After Dark, Museum Clean-Up Day, Heirloom Seeds Weekend, Free Fun Friday, Plimoth in December and many more! Every event and program holds unique opportunities for Volunteers who want to immerse our guests in the histories, art, and cultures of our shared past on a flexible schedule.
Submit your Volunteer & Museum Guide Hours
Need a paper volunteer hours log? Email email@example.com or call (508) 746-1622 x8287.
2018 Volunteer of the Year Award
Congratulations, Allen Zubatkin!
On December 5, 2018 Executive Director Ellie Donovan presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Allen Zubatkin at Plimoth Plantation’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Party. Museum staff and fellow volunteers paid tribute to Allen's innovation and boundless energy. Their remarks are adapted below.
From the Plimoth Grist Mill staff:
Allen is a Museum Guide at the Mill, which means that he is here every Friday (and sometimes other days as well), welcoming and sharing the history and function of the mill with our guests. While doing this, he helps process our whole meal for sale by sifting it into cornmeal and sampe on a sifting table that he and his cohort (and former volunteer of the year) Rick Ryan invented, designed and constructed. The table uses the motor from a 1950’s washing machine and a jigsaw to power a sifting screen. This automated sifter has greatly increased the efficiency of our processing and bagging (and helped save our backs). Last month he introduced additional upgrades which significantly improve our processing time.
As an engineer, Allen is full of ideas for explaining the physics, engineering and other technical aspects of the Mill. All we had to say was, “wouldn’t it be great if we could show kids how you can convert water power to electricity?” and Allen was off and running. Together with Rick, they designed, built and installed an exhibit that uses a bicycle tire, chains and gears, and the alternator from a WWII field radio to create enough electricity to power two light bulbs! Now the Plimoth Grist Mill is home to the “World’s Smallest Hydro Electric Plant.” Much of the work Allen did at home and what materials he didn’t get donated he paid for himself.
His expertise in engineering has been a great boon for mill staff. As historians, we often struggle with the concepts of torque and horsepower, gear ratio, mechanical advantage, and the workings of simple machines; all things that are key to explaining the working of the mill to our guests. Allen has been coaching us and taught a mill physics class (which we jokingly called Physics for Dummies). Allen has also written text for exhibit panels and handouts which explain these concepts to our guests. Every time a guest exclaims over the depth of our engineering, technology and physics knowledge, we know that we have Allen to thank.
As grateful as we are to have Allen at the Mill and as much as we think of him as “ours”, we know that he has made a significant and lasting impact at our other sites as well. As a three-site volunteer, he is incredibly giving of his time, talents and contacts. His enthusiasm and good humor are infections.
From George Ward, Whit Perry and the entire Mayflower II Team:
We at the Maritime Department marine shop feel so much that Alan deserves this "Volunteer of the Year" award. With all his time in other areas of PP Alan still finds time to help as a volunteer at the Marine Shop. He helped so much last winter especially working with Don Heminitz our rigger in creating and setting up a workable rigging list program on our shop computer. This effort tracks all the miles of rigging that has been removed from Mayflower II. Description of the line, function, lengths and diameters. All of this, the approximately four and a half miles of rope and line that will be replaced with new during Mayflower II's restoration! Plus measurements recorded of the more than 150 wooden blocks and sheaves and their description! This resource will be so helpful to us during this restoration and for others in the future for upkeep and repair! Alan also pitches in with the many menial tasks during the winter months such as scraping, sanding and vanishing these many blocks and many of Mayflower's many spars during this restoration time.
All of our volunteers, Alan Zubatkin "Volunteer of the year, 2018" along with Dick Beane a former "Volunteer of the year, 2017", Joe Jordan, Rick Ryan and retiring volunteer Ron Young are so appreciated. They are all Volunteers of every year to us! Gentlemen, from The whole Maritime Department, THANKS!
From Fellow Museum Guide and Museum Council Member, Rick Ryan:
When [Allen] first started the Museum Guide program I took him to the Main Shop and loaded him up with 7 or so primary sources which he proceeded to read over the winter while volunteering in the Marine shop. Allen has continued his Marine Shop work over the last four winters. This past winter Allen designed, with input from Whit and Don, a large database to catalog about 90% of Mayflower ll's rigging. This rigging, involving over 130 blocks, was taken apart, measured, described, and photographed, then inputted by Allen and Don. Over the past five years, Allen and I have also partnered together as Guides at the Fort, Mayflower II, and the Grist Mill. I have found him to be an excellent guide, very knowledgeable and excellent with guests, especially the kids. He is very approachable to all the guests, giving a hearty “Welcome to the Fort/Meeting House!”
On Tuesday afternoons while working at the Fort, Allen covers the needs of our handicapped guests by driving the Golf Cart. Over the winter, Allen designed and installed a pulley system for the main cart to make it easier to load wheelchairs. Allen also arranged for a friend, who owns a wheelchair company, to donate 3 new wheelchairs to the Plantation.