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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.

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05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

News about NUS' Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore - Archives

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Tue 27 Mar 2007

Toddycat Hai-Ren discovers the joys and exhaustion of guiding!

Category : education

Hai-Ren, one of the new Raffles Museum Toddycats was a volunteer guide for the Public Gallery during the NUS Open House on 10 Mar 2007.

He blogged about his experience and remarks that there was one aspect of the guiding experience which he didn't expect!

"I had no idea giving a guided tour for the better part of an hour could be so draining physically and mentally. And I did it thrice today. Once with the Mahidol University group, then a trio of A-level students visiting NUS Open House (which I guided for about half the gallery), and then after a short nap, I went on to conduct a guided tour for a family of 6, with 2 young kids in tow."


We did suggest the Toddycats choose one of three shifts, but Hai-Ren had bravely opted for a full day's duty and went through a baptism of fire. Read his complete post, "What a Day" to find out what else he experienced during his first day of guiding (not his last!) He talks about the need to snooze between sessions to recover... Yup, guiding can be exhausting but is rewarding to those with a passion to communicate topics in science, biodiversity, conservation and heritage to visitors.

Guides or docents are certainly invaluable to the visitor's experience in any museum. A rare blogger's post from last year's International Museum Day is especially treasured: "when ... a docent started speaking it cheered up considerably." This year, the Museum Roundtable had placed some feedback forms and from the brief look I had, there were lots of 5/5 marked against visitor experience. Although the Public Gallery is very small and was setup in house by biologists on a bare-bones budget, the specimens and their inherent stories means the guides find they can spin a yarn or two :-)

Since its important our guides experience the sort of things they talk about, we conduct special field trips to help some of them build up their experience or offer them opportunities with researchers. After a few night walks, mud baths and river swims, coupled with some theory, they'll never find themselves at a loss for words.

The next sessions begin after April of course, when the undergrads have cleared their exams and I've finished marking scripts!

Posted at 11:26AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,