Monday, January 30, 2012

Volunteers Sought to Help Preserve Bear's Mill

One of the few remaining water-powered mills in operation in Ohio, Bear’s Mill has a history dated from 1849, when it was built by Gabriel Baer. Many volunteers are needed to help the Mill preserve its 162-year-old history and stay open to the public for touring and educational purposes.

The Friends of Bear’s Mill nonprofit organization runs the operations of the Mill, which hosts about 30,000 visitors every year, and is looking for two or three additional tour guides. While major tours take place during their spring and fall open houses, the Mill also needs people sporadically throughout the year for other guided tours. Tours usually take approximately one hour, and there is no minimum number of tours required of volunteers. Potential volunteers should be good at public speaking, be willing to learn the history of Bear’s Mill, have a friendly personality, be physically able to walk stairs and have a loud, clear speaking voice. In addition to meeting new people and developing a thorough knowledge of Bear’s Mill, tour guides will also receive a 10% discount in the Mill Store.

Merri Niekamp, Outreach Manager, says that volunteers are important because they help keep the Mill open for tours. “Sometimes it is just not enough to learn about the Mill through a self-guided tour and signage. Tour guides allow people to experience what the Mill was once like and can then answer any questions. Without our tour guides, the Mill experience wouldn’t make as much sense,” she comments.

To learn more about this volunteer opportunity or other opportunities within our community, please contact HandsOn West Central Ohio at (937) 548-8002 ext. 211 or visit HandsOn West Central Ohio, including Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, is a program of Council on Rural Services. This program receives funding from Darke County United Way, Corporation for National Service, Area Agency on Aging, PSA2.

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