Our 2013 Docent Training Class stopped taking applications on Monday, January 21. For any questions or information, please call (716) 852-3300. To sign up for our Chaperone Training in April, visit our Volunteering page.
Our annual Docent Training Program teaches people how to give a guided tour and assist with tour-related events, including concierge and chaperoning skills. Prospective docents are taught about and tested on local history, architecture, public speaking, organizing information, working with the public, and general tour-giving skills. After the first five weeks, prospective docents pick which group they would like to join. Classes are consecutive Saturdays from 9:00am to 12:30pm starting on January 26, 2013. This year we are training docents for:
Past partner groups of the Buffalo Niagara Docent Training Alliance have included the Buffalo Fire Historical Society, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Buffalo Religious Arts Center, and Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Many have compared Docent Training to a college-level class. If a person wishes to become a Buffalo Tours docent, for example, we have five additional weeks of Saturdays where docents focus on our Queen City Downtown architectural tour. We then require an oral test (giving a one-on-one tour) and a written test in order to "graduate" as a docent. All applicants are interviewed by phone after filling out the application below.
Training sessions are about 3 1/2 hours long on consecutive Saturdays. The first 90 minutes of class focuses on docent skills, homework review, and practice presentations. The second 90 minutes consists of lectures, tours, and guest speakers. Locations are usually in Buffalo but we have also had classes in East Aurora and Niagara Falls. Participants are invited to enjoy an informal lunch at a nearby restaurant (they pay their own way) after each session. The lunch has become a great way to meet and socialize with other volunteers.
Important! This class is only for volunteer docent training for Buffalo Tours or the partner organizations above and is not open to the general public. Tour guides working for profit, tour companies, or other organizations are not permitted to apply. Good attendance is also important, and volunteers will be expected to pass tests and complete homework. Prospective docents are normally allowed to miss one class out of the ten week period. You are expected to give a certain number of tours after completing the program, which differs depending on your organization of choice. There is a $75 class tuition fee due one week before class begins after a phone interview following your submission of an application.
Questions? Please write Fred Schrock, Education Coordinator at info@BuffaloTours.org.
617 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203