Volunteer at Ashland

It is through the efforts of a vibrant volunteer program that Ashland is able to thrive.  A diverse, talented and well-trained group of volunteer guides conduct the majority of tours given at Ashland.  Many people choose to volunteer in the Museum Store, greeting people from across the country and around the world, selling tickets and helping visitors make the perfect selection from a wide array of store merchandise.  Others bring a willingness to help with school groups, special projects, programs or curatorial research.  New for 2017 is the opportunity to become a grounds ambassador, welcoming guests who may want additional information about the grounds and site history but don’t have time to take a regular tour. Whatever their task may be, all find their experience at Ashland rewarding and fun!

Ashland offers optional monthly volunteer meetings.  Meetings allow volunteers time to socialize and learn.  The meetings may include guest speakers, travel to other historic sites or points of interest or may simply allow volunteers to gather for a good time and refreshments.

Volunteer orientation and training is conducted each year in Feb. & March but training is also available year-round  on a one-on-one basis.

**2017 training takes place on Feb. 25th and Mar. 4th from 10:00-1:00 in our Keeper’s Cottage. Those interested in volunteering should contact jfrost@henryclay.org for information.**

It is  through the efforts of many dedicated and talented volunteers, working together with staff,  that Ashland has been able to flourish.  Volunteers at Ashland can pursue a love of history and/or politics, give back to the community, make great new friends, meet people from across the country and around the world, and have lots of fun doing so.  Whether you give tours, work in the Museum Store or help with special projects, as an Ashland volunteer, you become a part of the Clay legacy!

There are many ways to volunteer your time at Ashland including:

  • Giving tours of the house and the property
  • Assisting with special projects and events
  • Helping in the museum store
  • Helping with school groups and educational activities
  • Lending your unique talents to the estate
  • Becoming a grounds ambassador

Many of Ashland’s volunteers wear a number of different hats!

Most of the regular daily tours of the estate are led by volunteer docents who have participated in an extensive orientation and training program. Large bus tour groups necessitate the special scheduling of docents to lead tours outside of the normal hourly tours. Docents may also give special topic tours designed to accommodate visiting group’s needs (past tours have included the Decorative Arts, Women of Ashland, Architecture, African Americans, the Civil War, the Grounds and Garden). For large groups, “open house” mansion tours are often provided (such as the popular annual holiday Candlelight Tours).   Docents are stationed in rooms throughout the house to provide explanation and answer questions.

Ashland’s education program provides specially designed tours for school children of all ages, which are led by docents trained to give children’s tours.

Volunteers also staff the Museum Store where they greet guests, take admissions, conduct store transactions, answer the phone and handle visitor questions. Special training (cash register, phone, etc.) is provided for these volunteers.

And throughout the year special events and projects require extra help, whether stuffing envelopes, proofing copy, doing research, entering data, serving refreshments, greeting visitors, helping at special events, and much more.

Student Interns

Ashland also welcomes student interns, providing an invaluable and fun experience for these young people.  We will work with your teacher or professor if class credit is being given for your time at Ashland, catering your experience to meet your class requirements.

No matter what volunteer path you decide to take,  you become a part of the remarkable legacy of Henry Clay and Ashland.  For more information on volunteering at Ashland, please contact Director of Tours and Education Jackie Frost at 859-266-8581, Ext. 205 or jfrost@henryclay.org.