Stuhr Museum is fortunate to have a large variety of volunteers who assist with programs and activities in every department. One unique group of volunteers is known as Living History Apprentices, or LHAs for short. Each year, youth who have completed the 5th grade or above may apply to join this group and take training classes to prepare them for their experiences at the museum.
The LHA program has been in existence in some form since 1982 when our youth volunteers were called “Junior Interpreters.” The program has grown and changed over the years to adapt to not only the needs of the museum, but also to cultivate the talents of each individual youth member and add new levels of leadership to help those youth become successful young adults in their schools, communities, and beyond.
Living History Apprentices, or LHAs, assist in many ways throughout each year. LHAs are an important asset to our Summer Adventures program in June and July each summer, as they are the instructor’s helpers, assisting with everything from foodways to crafting and much more. LHAs may also volunteer as a Living Historian on a daily basis from May 1 through Labor day, where they will interpret life in the 1890s to visitors in Railroad Town. We also host several events and programs throughout the year where LHAs play essential roles, such as during our Independence Day celebration, Back to School, Harvest Fair, All Hallows’ Eve and Christmas Past & Present. LHAs may also have some behind-the-scenes opportunities, assisting with class preparations or some light office work.
While there is no minimum requirement of hours to be an LHA, those who complete 50 hours or more of volunteer service each year will be eligible for a special LHA celebration in the fall. Each LHA is responsible for recording their hours with us in order to be included in this event. LHAs are welcome to submit their hours for school volunteer requirements as well, and we refer to this record when signing paperwork.
LHAs are an important asset to our Summer Adventures program in June and July each summer.