Since Gunston Hall opened as a museum in the 1950s, volunteers have played an important role in bringing the site to life. Currently, volunteers at Gunston Hall help both behind-the-scenes, with the public, and at the archaeological dig site.
Young Historical Interpreters must be between 8 and 18 years old. All other volunteers must be at least 16 years old.
To begin the process to join the Gunston Hall team, please complete a volunteer application. Next, someone from the staff will contact you to schedule an interview.
Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Opportunities
Library and Archives
Volunteers help answer researcher questions, process material, work with the collections database, read historical documents, and contribute to historical research projects. This is a weekday activity. Training is arranged on an individual basis.
Volunteers help plan special events, develop activities for family programs, work on social media projects, prepare materials for teachers, and help with logistics for public programs. This is a weekday activity. Training is arranged on an individual basis.
Volunteers assist with background research for exhibitions, help fabricate exhibition components, write object labels, and participate in exhibition installation. Volunteers with carpentry skills are a great help in exhibitions work. This is a weekday activity. Training is arranged on an individual basis.
Volunteer Opportunities to Work with the Public
Volunteers help make history real for elementary, middle, and high school students by leading interactive tours. Some docents also help with hearth cooking and gardening projects.
This is a weekday activity. Initial training is a two-week-long course in both how to give tours and the history of George Mason and his world. Docents also become members of the Gunston Hall Docents’ Association, and through that group, they have the opportunity to participate in monthly enrichment programs.
Volunteers dress in period clothing in order to portray actual or fictional personages from the 18th century who relate in some way to Gunston Hall and George Mason. These devoted students of the 18th century interpret social life, plantation life, politics of the Revolution, and politics of the Constitution. This activity is available on summer weekdays and weekends throughout the year. Training is arranged on an individual basis.
Young Gunston Hall Historic Interpreters
Volunteers between the ages of 8 and 18 help others learn about history. Students learn about life in the 18th century and how to make it interesting for visitors. They dress in historical costume and demonstrate activities of everyday life during the Revolutionary period. This activity is available on summer weekdays and weekends throughout the year. Volunteers participate in training workshops before they get started and in periodic enrichment workshops.
Archaeology Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers help in the field, uncovering history by methodically searching for historical objects buried on the Gunston Hall property. Volunteers also help process items discovered at the dig site. Archaeology volunteers work under the supervision of the staff archaeologist.
This activity is available Tuesday through Saturday, between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers choose their own hours and may help for a partial day, full day, or more than one day a week. The field season runs from the first part of April until mid December. The remainder of the year is spent processing artifacts in the archaeology lab. Training is on-the-job, and all equipment is provided.