Why Become a Docent?

The Docent’s Role in Our Mission

“The mission of the California Automobile Museum is to preserve, exhibit, and teach the story of the automobile and its influence on our lives.”

The California Automobile Museum has over 150 active and highly trained docents at any given time. The Museum relies on these volunteers to execute our mission. Assistance from our docents usually falls into three main categories: Tours, Program Assistance, and Outreach.

Docent tours are the most direct way our volunteers further the mission of the museum. Whether it’s assisting and answering questions for visitors or giving comprehensive scheduled tours to groups and schools, docents are directly teaching the story of the automobile to the community and visitors.

Program Assistance
Having a small staff means that the Museum requires a lot of volunteer help to accomplish larger projects successfully. This help can be everything from donating materials to create exhibits and educational programs to donating time and labor to build, paint, teach, or even help run events, exhibits, and family programming.

Our docent volunteers assist with virtually every class, special event, and exhibit that the Museum offers. The scope of the programs offered would not be possible without the valuable and generous donations of time, materials, and labor provided by our docents.

Another major way our docents serve the community and our mission is by spreading the word of our museum in various ways. This can mean participating in outreach programs such as our Road Crew, or simply spreading word of mouth to other enthusiasts in the community. These volunteers take cars, promotional materials, and educational resources out to different locations and events. All of this increases our visibility as both a destination and a community resource.

Docent Training
Our Docent Training Program is vital to the success of our mission by providing our volunteers with the tools and the knowledge necessary to execute the Museum’s programs. During this training, docents undergo 60 hours of regular training which includes knowledge of the museum, the collection, and the automobile in general. They also learn strategies on how to give tours and help answer visitor questions.

Then, docents can also take part in another 6 hour class that covers the material specific to our school tour programs. The Public Program Docent Training covers 6 specialized academic programs designed for different grade levels, strategies on teaching and managing large groups and groups of children, and special emergency procedures.


If you would like to become a part of the California Automobile Museum’s team of volunteers, click the button below to learn how sign up for docent training:

Get Involved!