Living History Apprentice (LHA)
Living History Apprentice (LHA) Experience
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. The LHA program was started in 2004, growing out of the former Junior Interpreter class. Each year youth who have completed the 5th grade or above take training classes to prepare them for their experiences at the museum.
Since 2004, we have held a four day training class as a part of our Summer Adventures program. In 2017, the program is being modified in order to allow more youth to participate in the program as well as introduce a leadership aspect to the program. Continually, LHAs have come from as close as the Tri-city area and as far away as Lincoln, Omaha, Missouri and Indiana. Parents are very supportive of the program, and often end up volunteering themselves. The efforts of both the LHAs and their parents provide the museum with a great deal of assistance over the course of the year. There are many programs here that are richer for their participation. We quite frankly can’t thank them enough – they are a very special part of the Railroad Town & Stuhr family.
The selection process for 2017 has been concluded. For those interested in getting involved in the future, the 2018 application will be made available after the first of the year, and specific dates will be announced at that time, however we are tentatively planning to hold the training in March. There will be an interview of applicants following the application deadline, and applicants will be notified whether or not they have been accepted as soon as possible afterward. There is a fee for the training that covers the cost of the haversack and other support materials that will be due before or on the first day of training. LHAs are expected to volunteer at least 50 hours in 2017 to maintain full LHA status*, and LHAs are responsible for documenting these hours with our staff. A record of hours volunteered is made available to the LHA to assist in fulfilling school volunteer requirements.
What do you do as an LHA? The options are limited only by your imagination. LHAs are a very important asset to the Summer Adventures program in June and July, assisting the instructors with assorted classes from foodways to crafting. The summer also offered opportunities to work as a Living Historian on a daily basis in Railroad Town in either a home or at a trade, or perhaps they will assist with one of the many Summer, Fall and Winter events, such as the 1897 Independence Day, Back to School, Harvest Fair, All Hallows or Christmas Past and Present, to name a few. This year we will begin offering more behind the scenes volunteer opportunities as well, such as helping to prepare items for a class, or assisting with minor office prep. There are many other opportunities that will become available as we move through 2017. Information on these and more will always be found on this page.
*(50 hours are required to qualify for a special LHA event)