Why become a Volunteer?

As a volunteer driven organization, volunteers are a fundamental part of our daily operations. They present the museum to our visitors, help in maintaining Niagara and keep other aspects of our organization running smoothly. Volunteering at our museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about Erie Maritime history, to meet people with similar interests and to serve at a premier educational establishment.

Who can become a Volunteer?

You can! Volunteer positions are open to all individuals who meet application requirements and are willing to commit to required time minimums (not applicable to all positions). We encourage our volunteers become Flagship Niagara League members so that they receive all mailings about the changing exhibits and ongoing activities within the museum. As members, volunteers also receive discounts on Museum events and in the Museum Gift Shop.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Click here to fill out our general interest application: Volunteer Interest Form

Volunteer Opportunities Available:

Docents- The Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara have a dedicated crew of volunteer docents or “guides” who are most often the first point of contact with all of our visitors. Guides greet all museum guests, facilitate their visits in many ways and provide answers and information on the exhibits, as well as conduct the guided tours of Niagara. Guides are also an important part of facilitating school and tourist groups who visit. Museum volunteers can sign on to guide for a regular 4 hours shift (minimum requirement) every week or request to be called for special events and groups. To learn more about the guide program, call Ed Tonkin at 814.452.2744 ext 229 or More Information.

Ship Maintenance
Ship Maintenance- Help keep Niagara sailing! Sailing and maintenance volunteers are always needed to keep Niagara in ship-shape condition. While Niagara is sailing, the crew maintains the ship. When she is berthed for the winter, maintenance is done by the professional crew and a core of volunteers. Maintenance volunteers earn credit to be used toward tuition to sail on the ship as a trainee during the summer. While maintenance is a top priority, time is allocated for informational sessions on such subjects as: marlinspike seamanship, rigging, painting, splicing and more. There is always something to do and something going on down at the Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara. Contact Marine Operations at 814.452.2744 ext 214 or More Information.

2017 Niagara Winter Sail Training Syllabus and Schedule

Ship Model Building- If you have ever built or sailed a model boat or flown a model airplane, the Erie Maritime Museum is looking for you! If you have time on your hands and want to help or learn from experienced model ship makers, now’s your chance. We need a few volunteers who are model builders, or who would like to learn, assist and share their skills as volunteers at the Erie Maritime Museum. Call 814.452.2744 ext 200 or More Information.

Chuck Interpreter
Historic Interpreters- The Ship’s Company – U.S. Brig Niagara is a Volunteer Historical Living History Unit portraying sailors, soldiers and civilians of the War of 1812 period. The unit provides historical programming, including naval gun drills and sail handling demonstrations, at the Erie Maritime Museum. In addition, some members travel to various War of 1812 Historic Sites in the US and Canada each year to participate in battle reenactments and living history programs. Members of the unit are responsible for purchasing or producing and maintaining the necessary clothing, uniforms and equipment for themselves. Members are also encouraged to do their own research into the period of the War of 1812 and in the development of their personal interpretation of the era, whether it is that of a soldier, sailor, or civilian. Call 814.452.2744 ext 200 or More Information.

Don’t Give Up the Ship!