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News article created on 28 June 2013

Explorer volunteers are superstars

Everything went very smoothly for the teachers and pupils – not quite so smoothly for us. I managed to get caught in a torrential downpour and one of my volunteers went for an unexpected swim!

Explorers’ volunteers are officially superstars! June is always a very busy month for our museums and attractions, particularly with visits from school pupils. Not only have the volunteer teams been busy with school groups, they have also been running activities at events, taking historic boats around the network and helping me plan summer holiday activities.

We had a fantastic two days out at Lymm Historic Transport Festival where around 400 primary school pupils took part in a bridge building challenge, rag rugging, puppet making and tours of three historic boats. Everything went very smoothly for the teachers and pupils – not quite so smoothly for us. I managed to get caught in a torrential downpour and one of my volunteers went for an unexpected swim!

Thank you letters

I always enjoy getting feedback from school visits, so I was particularly pleased this week to get a nice pile of thank you letters from a year 2 class who visited recently. As I read through each letter I was glad to see that the children had remembered lots of information about their visit – amusingly, they also provided me with a detailed list of the items they had each bought from the shop at the end of the day.

Finally, I’ve had a wonderful work placement student with me from Wirral Grammar School for Boys. Here is his (uncensored!) take on museum education . . .

“When I first found my work placement at the museum, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect; I was pleased to be surprised. I’d never been interested in history, usually going in one ear and out the other, but thanks to The National Waterways Museum, from engaging voyages on narrow boat trips to the joy of learning and teaching with excitable young school children, I have never been so exhausted from the past. I have gained lots of experience and knowledge at the museum, but I only have the welcoming and friendly staff to thank for their support.”

About this blog

Helen Evans is the learning officer for our museums and attractions. She joined the National Waterways Museum (Ellesmere Port) in 2010, following eight years of secondary school teaching. Helen lives in Macclesfield and is a keen long distance runner, competing for Macclesfield Harriers.

See more blogs from Helen Evans