If you’re interested in becoming a guide for the 2016 tour, you don’t need an advanced degree in local history or historic preservation, although the KHPC welcomes those volunteers, too. We want people who are excited by local architecture and local history. If you enjoy it and want to learn more, volunteering is a great way to do that.
Guides are trained before the tour and provided with outline scripts on the day they choose to work. There’s no pressure to become and instant expert. If you do not know the answer to a visitor’s question just say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” Another guide in your building may be able to help, or you can email the answer to the visitor after the tour. It’s more important to be accurate than to have every detail at your fingertips.
Reenactors are welcome. If you choose, you may dress in a style appropriate to your building’s history. You could choose to dress appropriately for the year the building was constructed or in a later period’s styles relevant to the building’s history.
You’ll get a Hidden Kalamazoo t-shirt to wear during the tour, and it’s yours to keep. Remember to wear comfortable shoes. The visitors will climb stairs, but guides will be stationed on each floor of multi-story buildings, so guides’ stair climbing will be minimal during the tour. But you’ll want to use your free ticket to visit all the other sites before or after your shift, right?