The Season begins...

We are more than half way through May, and with it, the Museums are open!!!


Well, almost.


The four museums that my agency runs technically open for the season the first week of May. It's been a little different for various reasons, but let's just say it's a staggered start.


I have been to all the museums, but only one while open to the public. There was a special event at a nearby organization, and the site director decided to have a "soft opening" and capitalize on the crowds.

Inside the Eric Sloane Museum, Kent, Connecticut

And boy did we.


I only worked on Sunday, but over that weekend, over 600 people came through our doors. Not bad for no publicity. But considering they had to walk right past the museum in order to go to the event, it didn't hurt.


Beautiful weather did not hurt either.


My husband was away for the weekend, so I decided to bring my oldest with me. J loves history, and the special event next door included a steam locomotive, so that was a bonus. He was very excited to help out...and see the train.

Docent in training???

Proud mom moment: he did great!


J can sometimes get a little to excited, and that's when you can really see the Autism. He does a bunch of stims, usually pumping his arms like pistons, and will say the same thing a dozen times.


He just gets overwhelmed.


But in this case, he did his stims, but kept it together. In fact, by the end of the day, he was practically giving tours!


The site director said next time they would give him a staff shirt and let him go at it.


Not only that, but he was a big help around the place. He helped place signs, clean, and "direct traffic".


He loved every second of it, and I loved watching him.


The visitors engaged him, asked questions, and overall told him he did a great job.


It was a long day, and he almost fell asleep in the car. When we got home he asked when he could go help out again...and when could he go to another museum.

The newly restored Prudence Crandall Museum in Canterbury, CT

Oh boy! I really did create a monster.


So, now we begin getting into the "season". I've been to all of the museums this week. I have driven all over our state. It has been fun!


No more working from home.


Everyday, a different site, a different story, a different community.


In fact, I gave my first school group tour in 20 years last week! I was a little rusty, but I think it went fine.


The only thing that would've made it great was if I had those little anecdotes that only come with time and research.


That time will come.

The Henry Whitfield State Museum, located in Guilford, CT

There are several more school groups scheduled that I will assist with over the next month. By then, I hope all the rust has shaken off, and it will come naturally. I should have a few more stories and facts to help out too.


But I still have a ways to go...


The years working in the bike shop have paid off...there is no fear of talking to groups.


The last 5 months my focus has been on creating school programs for 2 of the sites. Those school programs have been developed, and now we begin to market and test them.


Fortunately, we have a great relationship with the state Department of Education, and their social studies coordinator. He has promised to help with marketing. Woo hoo!!!


Even though the school year is pretty much over, we can take parts of the programs and test them with visitors during the summer.

Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine, in East Granby, CT

The end of the school year means that there will be more visitors dropping in, and special events!


All of the museums have several events planned, and I am getting my schedule in order. I am backing up and assisting where needed and hopefully we will have a few more seasonal workers hired soon.


Even though I can't be everywhere, I am having so much fun.


Sure there are times where I wonder if I did the right thing, but so far so good.

Needed to make a little detour...

I just wish I could get out and ride my bike more. Fortunately...I'll get a couple of days during the week off, and I will be gone.


I've recently been asked to lead a "women's ride" on one of those days. I'm secretly calling it, "when the kids are away, the mom's will play." My idea is to take off in the morning after the kids are in school or camp, then be home by lunch time, or when it is time to pick up the kiddos from school or camp.


We've met twice so far, and even though turn out has been...me, there has been a lot of interest. It doesn't matter to me. I now have an excuse to ride my bike. I'm the ride leader.


The other day off, I'll do something else...run, swim, ride my bike more, go to the grocery store, do laundry.


Or...


Maybe I'll go ride to one of the museums? Who knows?


What I do know is that my "joy" is back for museums.


I'm loving the new job!!!


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