WHC Volunteer Program


The Willamette Heritage Center is hopping with activity all year long and it takes volunteers like you to make it happen! Do you like history? Do you like meeting new people and telling them intriguing stories about our past? Are you interested in helping kids learn through hands-on activities and tours of the museum? Would you like to improve your public speaking skills? Do you enjoy researching history? Can you use a computer and do data entry? Are you able to give a couple of hours each week to share and preserve our heritage? If so, consider volunteering at the Willamette Heritage Center.

Become a Volunteer or Intern Today!

Adobe_PDF_icon-150x150Download a PDF copy of the Volunteer/Internship Application



Mail completed Form to:

Willamette Heritage Center
1313 Mill St SE Suite 200
Salem, OR 97301


You can APPLY ONLINE now by scrolling to the bottom of this page and using form provided there.


Training is provided for all areas of volunteer service at the Willamette Heritage Center.  

To find out more, contact our Education and Volunteer Coordinator Erica Osorio at 503-585-7012  (Ext. 254) or e-mail ericao@willametteheritage.org

Volunteer for our Signature Events!

Our next event is Sheep to Shawl. Sheep to Shawl is a celebration of textile heritage in our region. We are looking for volunteers to help out with the event which will occur on Saturday, May 9, 2020.  The special event volunteer application will be made available in the spring.

Contact: Erica Osorio, 503-585-7012

Volunteer Opportunities

Docent Program

Translate the past into the present through tours, demonstrations and education. Join our elite tour guide group and lead visitors through the museum. Guide groups from school age to seniors. Docents can set their own schedule. Training provided. This is your chance to help our visitors learn about Salem’s history – and have fun doing it!

Tour Guide


  • Learn history of the museum site
  • Guide visitors (all ages) through museum exhibits


  • 4 Hour Docent Training Course
  • Study of Docent Handbook
  • Shadow three docent led tours
  • Practice Tour with museum staff

Activity Leader


Lead students hour-long activity exploring through artifacts and hands-on activities in a classroom setting:

  • Fiber to Fabric
  • Archaeology
  • Finding Oregon
  • Kalapuya
  • Young Pioneers
  • Pioneer World
  • Waterworks


Class curriculum is provided.  New activity leaders will shadow experienced leaders or staff and will lead activity observed by staff member.

Living History Leader

Duties: Engage students through first or third person living history demonstrations.  Living History Leaders dress in period costume and either converse with students about “their” lives as an historical figure or engage them in a period-appropriate craft or task.


  • Living History Leaders research their historic figure or activity.  The WHC has a library of materials available for research
  • Periodic workshops are available for those interested in honing their skills
  • Period dress and artifacts are provided for use in programs
  • Shadowing opportunities available

Hands-on History Leader

Duties: Connect students with the past through guided activity stations in the museum (programs last about 15 minutes).  Leaders might:

  • Connect students with historical letters and writing styles
  • Introduce 1840s fashions by challenging them to dress two kids for the Oregon Trail
  • Experience baskets through touch and trying weaving.


Curriculum provided.  Leaders will shadow experienced leaders and complete one trial activity with staff member present.

Visitor Services Volunteers:

Welcome volunteers to the site, provide directions at the museum and around the city.  A great way to connect with our community and the wonderful history on site.

Archives and Collections Volunteers:

Help in the archives and collections area with research, preservation, indexing, data entry, filing, and scanning photographs and slides.

Help staff our research library by assisting patrons with research in family history, historic homes and property, and local history.

Special Events

These short-term volunteer opportunities make a big difference.  Help out at one of the museum’s special events.  Check the calendar below for the next special event!


Our volunteer internships are varied and flexible, and many college majors can be enhanced by spending time at the Willamette Heritage Center. For starters, we offer internships in research/writing, archives/artifacts, marketing, education and hospitality. Hours and exact duties will be adjusted to suit a student’s needs. Drama, marketing and business, English, education, history, archaeology, and even botany majors can find an internship here!

Sign up Online to become a Volunteer

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