Are you looking for a fun way to spend some of your free time? We can use your help! The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum depends primarily on volunteers to operate since it receives no government funding for its operations.
The museum has a number of volunteer teams that help support its operations and work in close coordination with each other to directly support the ‘visitor experience’ aspects of our museum operations. There are many opportunities to volunteer on any or several of these teams. Here’s a brief description from each team about what they do:
The PRNAM’s Docent Cadre is designed to enhance our visitors’ experience by providing cheerful on-site exhibit information, tours, and discussions about our indoor (gallery) and outdoor (flight line) venues. We operate with a two-man crew during the museum’s normal operating hours and “plus up” for special events and other high volume activities throughout the year. The Cadre also hosts a youth docent program for students that are rising 9th graders and up who participate along with us on non-school days. As our visitor count continues to grow, so do our manpower requirements for the Cadre. Both researchers and additional guides are currently needed. Enthusiasm is the only prerequisite. Backgrounds in any and all aspects of Naval and other military aviation and engineering are a plus…..come fly with us!!!
The Flight Line provides maintenance on all the aircraft that are displayed in the museum – an ongoing process. We welcome volunteers with the following skills;
- Plane Captain on any type/model/series aircraft
- Aircraft Electrician
- Aviation Hydraulics person
- Aviation Metalsmith person
- Aircraft surface preparation and painter
- Aviation Ordnance
- Anyone interested in expanding their knowledge to other types of aircraft.
The video production team needs help with the following: video editing, script writing, narrating, sign language skills, and someone who can speak different languages. Work is primarily done during on weekdays.
The Exhibit team – members design and develop new and upgraded interpretative exhibits and displays that form the basis of the museum and bring our unique local naval aviation history and achievements to life.
The Collections Management team members support the operational aspects of the museum research library, historical archives, and artifacts in our museum collection that directly support the exhibit development process. We are currently working on entering all the museum artifacts in our collection and the books in our library into a database and organizing those items not on display in our collections facility. It’s “behind the scenes” work – organizing and data entry.
The Information Technology team – members specify, design and maintain the electronic systems that control the exhibit displays, computers, audio information systems, and video displays located throughout the museum complex.
The Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Flight Simulator Team is made up of instructors who operate the museum’s two vintage F-14 TOMCAT Pilot Trainer cockpits. The museum’s interactive simulator program is extremely popular with adults and particularly the youth visitors. Two to three instructors are present each day guiding museum customers to select an airplane type to fly, familiarize them with the cockpit operation, and giving instructions on how to fly an airplane. The Team hosts a very popular youth program for students who are aged 13 years to become a simulator operator and instructor. Prior experience is not required as the Team will provide the needed training. Additional adults and youth are needed to maintain the program. Persons who join the team usually have an interest in aviation, are former or current aviators, enjoy playing with simulators at home, curious on how simulators work, or interested in science technology engineering or math. Come by the museum and enjoy a ride!
We could also use additional help with social media, event planning, grant writing, public relations and children’s programs.
No particular experience is necessary for many of these teams however enthusiasm is a MUST!
There are many opportunities to help the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum continue to be a major destination for visitors to St Mary’s County. Contact us for more information or to fill out an application.