Visiting other historic house museums is a very important part of staff training. Learning about what has (or has not) worked at other museums helps us develop our own skills and inspires new ideas.
This week the interpretive staff visited James Madison's Montpelier. Our visit stared with a guided tour of the Treasures of Montpelier exhibit with Carole, our fantastic guide, and a screening of the introductory movie. Carole then took us through the first and second floors of Montpelier.
After our tour we returned to the Visitor Center for lunch. We were joined by members of the interpretation and education departments for a question and answer session. For the guides, this was the highlight of the trip. The conversation ranged from the interpreter dress code to what to do when school buses arrive late.
Everyone was let loose for the final hour to explore whatever interested them. Some chose to visit the cemetery, while other walked to the Archaeology Lab. A few decided to check out the outbuildings and explore the gardens.
We all love Stratford, but sometimes it is nice to get out and be a visitor. We are very lucky because there are no shortage of amazing places to visit in Virginia!