HERE’S HOW DOCENT CAROLYN GINSBURG DESCRIBES THE JOB:
I have conducted house tours for guests/tourists from all over the country, in some cases from all over the world. We have guided people of many backgrounds and cultures – from Europe, Latin America, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Asia, and of course from all over the United States. Among these were many families: parents, grandparents, and extended family; children of all ages, from toddlers to college students; neighbors who had passed the property many times, and finally decided to check us out. I’ve even had people who grew up near The Hermitage, and who “remember the old ladies who lived in the house”! Some have been here multiple times.
Children are often the ones who beg their family members for the visit, having visited previously with scout and school groups, or hearing about us from friends and neighbors. Some guests have read about us on the internet or in guidebooks. Many are history buffs. Among some, the level of prior knowledge about the Revolutionary War period is surprisingly high. Even more surprising is the enthusiasm and excitement about learning new things, especially regarding the “real” people who lived in the house. There were always many questions, amazement, and laughter.
There was a definite uptick due to the musical Hamilton. Often, a warmth would develop between me and the visitors, even over a relatively short time together. I always got a smile and a thank you. A handshake and sometimes a hug.
We’re always in need of Board Members who will lend their services, be those carpentry, plumbing, marketing, social media, tech support or the law or any of a myriad of other things. The Friends of The Hermitage is a 501c3 corporation funding mainly by donations, events and memberships.
We rely on our board members to donate time and money because we are responsible for the upkeep of the John Rosencrantz House, where our offices are located, as well as utilities and smaller repairs for The Hermitage museum. (Both buildings are owned by the state and we are administratively part of Ringwood State Park.) If this joining the board is something you would be interested in, please contact Brock Fisher, first vice president of The Friends.
To fulfill our mission, we hold cultural, community and fundraising events in addition to our history programs. Each of these programs is a logistical challenge and needs a lot of helping hands to pull it off. If you’d like to help us out, please become a member of the Friends of The Hermitage. Visit http://thehermitage.org/support-the-hermitage/, or call Julie Zier, our development coordinator at 201-445-8311 and find out how you can help today!