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Apprentices Make a Difference in Museum of Agriculture Programs

August 16, 2016

Fifteen young people between the ages of 14 and 18 spent their summer volunteering as a part of the Museum Apprentice Program at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

“The program offers Tiftarea youth an opportunity to learn about history, gain work experience, and prepare to take an active role in volunteering at the Museum,” Museum Volunteer Coordinator Lynn McDonald said.  “Plus, the program provides fun along the way.”

First time apprentices were Sam Aultman, Lydia Connell, Dylan Jackson, Nate Mayfield, Ashley Owens, and Michael Talley.  Returning apprentices were Mary Allison, Sydney Doss, Jessica Gibbs, Justin Harper, Kailyn Hester, Ashley Jensen, Maya Jordan, Alyssa Mazzuchelli and Emily Walker.

Each of the students agreed to work a minimum of 30 hours during June and July.  They also committed to volunteering throughout the rest of the year especially during special events for a total of 60 hours.

“During the summer they worked side-by-side with our historical interpreters learning the way of life associated with the time period and the details about each of the buildings and areas in the village,” McDonald said.  “They dressed in period appropriate clothing, which they provided themselves.  Other activities during the summer included group research on selected topics, communications workshops, and field trips.”

McDonald said the apprentices will be on duty during fall special events beginning with ABAC Family Day on Oct. 8, Trick or Treat in the Village on Oct. 26, Harvest Celebration on Nov. 5, Native American Experience on Nov. 19, Victorian Village by Candlelight on Dec. 4, and North Pole Express on Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 20.

“During these events, they will help with children’s activities, train loading/unloading, historical interpretation, wool dyeing, preparing meals, and cane grinding,” McDonald, who directs the effort of the apprentices, said.  “Some of the apprentices will also provide musical entertainment.”

To be considered as an apprentice the students completed an application and submitted two letters of recommendation.  Each applicant also went through an interview process before being selected.

Students selected for the program first enjoyed an intensive orientation to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village. During orientation they previewed the village with a scavenger hunt; learned about artifacts and artifact care from assistant director and curator Polly Huff; and received guidance on interpretative skills from Stephan Zacharias, lead interpreter.

The apprentices also heard a presentation on creating YouTube videos from Keith Rucker of the Vintage Machinery Channel.  They are also working on their own YouTube video.  In completing a basic family tree, one of the apprentices learned about her Indian heritage.  The students practiced their communication skills by talking with residents of Cypress Pond Assisted Living Center about their favorite parts of the summer.

For more information on the apprentice program, interested persons can contact McDonald at 229-391-5223 or lmcdonald@abac.edu.
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