Volunteers Being Sought for Historic Newcomer House Exhibit and Visitors Center at Antietam National Battlefield

Volunteers Being Sought for Historic Newcomer House Exhibit and Visitors Center at Antietam National Battlefield

Sharpsburg, MD -- Here is a unique opportunity to become a National Park Service volunteer! Volunteers are being sought to staff the historic Newcomer House on the Antietam National Battlefield during the 2013 season.
While no specific knowledge or skills are required, a willingness to deal with the public in a cordial manner is a must! Also, interest in Civil War history is a definite plus. Volunteers will receive mentor training on-site during regular visitor hours. A volunteer's primary duty is to greet visitors as they enter the Newcomer House Exhibit and Visitors Center, and help orient them to the immediate area and opportunities in the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (HCWHA). The job description is available below.
The Newcomer House, 18422 Shepherdstown Pike, Sharpsburg, MD, is one of only two historic homes on the battlefield open to the public. The other is Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The Newcomer House was built in the late 1780s as part of a thriving mill complex and farm astride the Boonsboro Pike where the Middle Bridge spans Antietam Creek. The house gets its present day name from Joshua Newcomer who owned the property during the 1862 Battle of Antietam. This is the period to which the appearance of the house has been restored.
A cooperative agreement between the Antietam National Battlefield and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau allows for programming, management and maintenance of the Newcomer House. It is the official Visitors Center for the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, which encompasses portions of Washington, Frederick and Carroll Counties. Three exhibit rooms explore the major themes of the heritage area: In the Heat of Battle, On the Home Front, and Beyond the Battlefield.
Those interested in volunteering should contact either Newcomer House coordinator Rachel Nichols: 240-308-1740, Rachel@marylandmemories.com, or ranger Christie Stanczak: 301-482-5124, Christie_Stanczak@nps.gov.
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. For more information about Hagerstown-Washington County, see www.marylandmemories.com.
The Antietam National Battlefield is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. In November of 2012, the State of Maryland recognized the unique partnership of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Antietam National Battlefield, and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area with the Governor's Cultural Heritage Tourism Award for the Newcomer House project. The Cultural Heritage Tourism Award is presented for outstanding investments and contributions in stewardship and development of Maryland's cultural heritage product and engagement in regional and statewide tourism initiatives.
Washington County has five national parks, eight state parks, over 30 museums, a renowned professional symphony orchestra, a professional minor league baseball team, and the county has been ranked first in the State of Maryland in the Retail Opportunity Index. The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (www.heartofthecivilwar.org), and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area (http://hallowedground.org). Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: www.quadstate81.com. Antietam National Battlefield tells the story of America's bloodiest day in our nation's fight for freedom. On September 17, 1862 over 23,000 Americans were killed or wounded in the Battle of Antietam. As the sun set over the bloody fields of Sharpsburg, the Civil War became a different struggle. Five days after the battle, armed with pen and paper, Abraham Lincoln changed the war and our nation when he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared freedom for the enslaved in the rebelling states, beginning the important journey of freedom and equality for all Americans. Antietam National Battlefield preserves these stories of tragedy and of hope on America's journey from Civil War to Civil Rights. For further information, visit www.nps.gov/anti/.
Newcomer House Volunteer Job Description:
Necessary Skills:
No specific knowledge or skills are required, but a willingness to interact with the public in a cordial manner is important.
Working Conditions:
The volunteer's work will occur at the Newcomer House Visitor Information Center. Volunteers will be expected to work independently with little supervision. The Newcomer House is a small visitor center on Maryland Rte. 34, with visitation that increases during the busy summer months.
Duties:
A volunteer's primary duty is to greet visitors as they enter the Newcomer House information center and orient them to the area. This area encompasses the local community, the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, South Mountain State Battlefield, Antietam National Battlefield, and the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The volunteer will hand out informational literature, tell visitors about the area, and assist them in meeting their needs.
Over the course of time, the volunteer is expected to become familiar with the resources available at the Newcomer House, such as park handouts and maps of the area. Volunteers will also help with a variety of office duties, such as making copies and answering the phones.
Training:
The volunteer will be provided with adequate training and orientation to enable them to perform their job in a satisfactory manner. The volunteer coordinator will be available to answer questions from the volunteer about the position. Volunteers may be assigned a mentor; either a park ranger, experienced volunteer, or partner organization staff member for on the job training.
Uniform:
The volunteer must wear the prescribed uniform. The park will provide the volunteer with a shirt, shoulder patch, hat, and nameplate. The uniform also includes dark brown or khaki trousers/skirt. If the volunteer needs to buy trousers, the park will reimburse the volunteer. Uniforms should be clean and neatly pressed.
Time Commitment:
The Newcomer House will be open seasonally: Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday April, May, October and November; Daily June-October. The volunteer is expected to work a minimum of six hours per month during the summer season. If the volunteer is unable to show up for work as regularly scheduled, he or she should notify a supervisor as soon as possible.
Evaluation:
The volunteer coordinator will evaluate the volunteer's performance after 90 days to determine if the volunteer is meeting the park's expectations and if the job is meeting the volunteer's expectations. Subsequent evaluations will occur annually.
The most important factors in evaluating a volunteer's performance are:
1) Polite and pleasant interactions with the visiting public.
2) Reliable attendance and punctuality.
3) The accuracy of information provided to the public.
For more information please contact Park Ranger Christie Stanczak, Volunteer Coordinator, Antietam National Battlefield, P.O. Box 158, Sharpsburg, MD 21782, Christie_Stanczak@nps.gov, or at 301-432-5124.