By April Bourie

The lifeblood of the Presidio Museum in downtown Tucson is its volunteers and docents who provide most of the programming and tours at the museum. In an effort to attract new docents, the museum is holding a Docent training course this fall. The course is for individuals who are excited about local history, want to learn more and share that enthusiasm with Presidio Museum visitors. Docents decide for themselves which activities they participate in and have a variety of opportunities to get involved, including leading tours of the museum, participating in children’s programming, or becoming re-enactors during various Living History programs.

“There is nothing like being able to expose others to the story of the presidio and our city. So many people have no idea just how rich our history is,” said Mauro Trejo, who leads several of the Museum’s Turquoise Trail Tours. “Whether it’s locals or new visitors to town, you are effectively giving them new eyes through which to see us. To know that you may have forever changed someone’s appreciation and understanding of our unique little piece of earth, is truly gratifying.”

Jean Baxter has been a docent at the Presidio Museum for 10 years. As such, she provides tours of the Presidio Museum grounds and also works with the museum’s family programming and educational outreach manager to plan and execute the museum’s education programs. When asked what she enjoys about being a docent at the museum, she replied, “I love being able to share our fascinating history with visitors from all over the United States and from countries around the world. Being a docent is a special way to give back to the community that has given me so much. We are excited to welcome some new volunteers and share our knowledge with them.”

This extensive course will cover a variety of topics, including:
The early people of the Tucson basin
The history, geography and people of the Spanish Presidio
Basic Spanish military history and uniforms
The Mexican Republic
An introduction to interpretive kits
How to know your audience
Geography of the Presidio neighborhood, the Santa Cruz River and Sentinel Peak (A Mountain)

“Graduated” docents are expected to volunteer one weekday a week or one weekend each month. They must also fill out an application and commitment form when registering for the class. Several current Presidio Museum docents have also signed up for the course to continue their education. “History buffs” who are not interested in volunteering after the class may also attend if there is availability.

The course consists of four classes held from 9 am to 1 pm on the following Saturdays: Sept. 11, 18, 25 and Oct. 2.

Pricing is as follows:
New Docents: $75, which includes the training course and the first year of membership in the Presidio Museum
History Buffs Taking the Class for Personal Knowledge: $100

***A 10% discount is offered for those who register through May 16. To register or to learn more, go to

April Bourie has been in marketing and writing for over 20 years. Her background is in tourism marketing, and she is the owner of Montage Marketing, through which she promotes the Presidio Museum, locations and activities in Tubac, Arizona, and writes for several magazines and tourism educational programs.

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