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Q & A: Docents get in on ground floor of local history

By: Kelsey Thomas Journal correspondent
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Volunteer Sandi Tribe of Auburn was interviewed at the Placer County Museum located on the first floor of Auburn’s Historic Courthouse. What is your title? Tribe: Volunteer or docent What exactly do you do? Tribe: I do walking tours of Old Town. In the museum my job is to meet and greet, and do guided tours of the whole museum. We tell the history of Placer County. There are six museums in Placer County and three of those are in Auburn. We refer them to those other museums. The docents who like to work with kids can choose to work with the living history programs. We also have docents who love to dig and to research who find themselves at the county archives. There are a lot of different areas that a docent can go into once they go through the training. What does it take to become a docent? Tribe: Starting Sept.15 there will be eight class sessions and then after the classroom training you do shadowing where a trainee docent follows a docent where they learn how to give a tour. How long have you been involved? Tribe: I took my docent training in 2001. I have been here since. What do you like about being a volunteer? Tribe: Working in the museum you never know who is coming to the door. We have people come from all over the world. You learn as much from the visitors as they learn from you. It’s also a really good feeling of giving back to the community. You can share the incredible rich heritage and history of Placer County. What is your favorite exhibit? Tribe: My favorite thing to do is the Old Town walking tours every Saturday morning. Those are fun because you can point out specific spots where history occurred. This tends to let the visitors better understand history when they can see exactly where it happened. Do you visit other museums often? Tribe: Oh yes. Whenever we go on vacation museums are the first thing on my list. There is a camaraderie with the docents and we go on trips together. Monday we went to Vallejo to visit other museums. What other interests do you have? Tribe: I like to travel and I like to garden.