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Historical Society Seeking Volunteers For All Skill Sets



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Newtown Historical Society needs some new volunteers.

That is the short of it when speaking with Barbara Wilson, a longtime member of the historical society and the current volunteer recruitment chair.

“We have something for anybody who is interested,” Wilson said Monday, February 15. Speaking with The Newtown Bee that morning, she said there are openings for those who want to work with the public as well as things that need to be done away from that spotlight.

“I don’t want people to think volunteering is just frontline,” she added later that morning. “We need lots of people behind the scenes to keep us going.”

Openings are currently available for the following:

*Bookkeeper: This volunteer will handle day-to-day recordkeeping. No paying of bills or submitting of tax forms;

*Writer: To research and write articles for The Rooster’s Crow, the historical society’s newsletter;

*Handyperson: To help with small repairs around the house and barns at the Matthew Curtiss House, on the society’s main property at 44 Main Street, and the Little Red Schoolhouse in front of Middle Gate School on Cold Spring Road;

*Cleaning & Yardwork: Also to be done at the Matthew Curtiss House and/or the Little Red School House;

*Tag Sale Fundraiser: Team lead and teammates are needed to organize this event; day-of volunteers will also be needed;

*Fundraising Committee: Chairperson and committee members will be needed for this new committee, whose first order of business will be brainstorming;

*Docents: Senior and junior docents are needed; and

*History Camp: Adult volunteers are needed for this annual summer presentation.

Normally, the historical society would be hosting monthly lectures and conducting events at its headquarters. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, lectures have not been hosted in months, and the spring open house at the Matthew Curtiss House will not take place next month.

“We’re trying to open for the spring, but we will not be open in March,” Wilson said. “We’re hoping that April might be nice — more ‘springier’ and warmer — so maybe we can do something outside.”

History Camp plans would also be well underway, she said.

“The committee for History Camp would have already resumed meeting and planning out that program,” she said. “The House & Garden Tour committee would have been starting to meet as well,” she added.

Wilson said both of those events were canceled in 2020.

“It’s too soon to know what the state of everything is going to be” for summer plans, she said. The House & Garden Tour had been the society’s largest annual fundraiser. History Camp is a five-day summer camp program for children ages 8 to 10.

She also wants some creative thinkers to launch new plans and/or programs.

“One of the things I’m looking for is to create a few new volunteer openings and opportunities, because things are changing and we need to think outside the box,” she said. “We need people to come and help us to that.”

Wilson encourages anyone who has time to share to contact her, even if the above openings are not exactly what they may want to do.

“We can chat. I can definitely find something for everyone,” she promised.

For those who would like to be on top of historical society announcements, Wilson pointed out NHS has an e-mail list.

“We send them out periodically with news and updates about our events,” she noted.

To volunteer, or learn more information about volunteer opportunities with Newtown Historical Society, send e-mail to info@newtownhistory.org with “Attention Barbara Wilson” in the subject line.

To subscribe to the e-mail list, send an e-mail to the same address, but with “Attention Cindy Glaberson” as the subject.

Volunteers are needed to help Newtown Historical Society with tasks at The Matthew Curtiss House, above, The One-Room Schoolhouse, and even remotely. —Steven Kellogg illustration
Newtown Historical Society docent Mike Asselta leads a group of students through a tour of the Matthew Curtiss House in this undated photo. The historical society is seeking volunteers, and volunteer coordinator Barbara Wilson promises not everyone will need to wear a costume. —photo courtesy Barbara Wilson
Newtown Historical Society volunteers can work with the public or behind the scenes. During a Homes & Gardens Tour, historical society members — from left is John Renjilian, Chris Schmitt, Lincoln Sander, Gordon Williams, and Steve Whiting — had tasks that kept the the event on track, even though they were not in the public eye. —photo courtesy Barbara Wilson
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