The Joys of Being a Docent at SOHO Home Tours
By Linda A. Canada
In this age of instant messages, cell phones, and spam, it's nice to find a volunteer position that puts one face to face with real people! It is even nicer to find a job that lets you be in charge for a day... and then walk away with no further responsibilities! Let me describe some of the joys of being a docent.
If you are a person who enjoys learning new things, volunteering as a docent is a job for you. I cannot even begin to describe the unique (and sometimes completely useless) information I've gained from my many docent assignments. For example, I know why a member of the Jessop family was arrested in Del Mar (Because his bathing trunks didn't have a belt!); what the number of toes on a Chinese dragon signifies (Four toes: a commoner. Five toes: a member of the Emperor's family.); and where Victorian-era ladies bathed in San Diego (Saltwater bathhouses along the shores of the Bay).
Recently, I enjoyed being SOHO's head docent at one of the houses during the Craftsman-Spanish Revival Weekend. To the joy of learning about the history of this beautiful home, I added the pleasure of working with the owners.
One of the best parts of being a docent is meeting the other people who have volunteered. Of course, it doesn't hurt that SOHO takes great care of its docents! If you had been part of the docent team for the Craftsman-Spanish Revival Weekend, you would have received passes for the house tour (with front of the line privileges!), entry to the exhibit hall, and lots of reading material including a copy of San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine.
The next time you receive an email from SOHO requesting volunteers to be docents, give it a try. Meeting people, learning the facts, and telling the story are all part of the joys of being a docent.
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Letter to the Editor
The Joys of Being a Docent at
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Free "Arch in the Park" Family Event
A Search for San Diego Courtyards
The Mission Hills Garden Club
Old House Fair 2004
The Repair of Historic Wooden Windows
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