2019 training dates are Tuesdays from 9am – noon in the St. Clare Room at Mission San Xavier del Bac, 1950 W. San Xavier Rd. in Tucson. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory barring an emergency because each class will cover a different topic.
Docents who complete the class and become qualified as a docent will be expected to provide tours at Mission San Xavier on at least two days per month. A typical tour takes about 45 minutes to an hour and we assign two back-to-back tours to each docent on the days they are at the Mission. We also provide docents for group tours and for student educational tours. During high season we also provide non-touring docents to help manage the flow of people and answer questions.
A typical tour covers the pre contact history of the native peoples, the geography of the area, the history of the contact with Spain, the Jesuit and Franciscan mission periods, the transition from Spain to Mexico to the United States. Docents will also talk about the art and architecture of the Mission as well as the restoration and conservation efforts of the Patronato San Xavier. There is no script to follow and docents can draw on the educational resources provided to create their own tour within the general frame work of the suggested tour. We certainly do not expect you to become an expert on these topics but we strive to provide accurate context for our visitors. Although Mission San Xavier is an active Catholic church there is no requirement that a docent be a member of the Catholic faith.
Tours are given 6 days a week with a greater number of tours in the winter and spring with fewer tours in the summer. Christmas through Easter are generally very busy and docents could be asked to provide more then two tours a day and more than two days a month. We do work around people’s schedules so you will have control of the days you volunteer and many of our docents are winter residents who do not tour year round.
The docent program does require a fair amount of flexibility and a comfort with public speaking and public relations. Docents are also invited to four meetings per year for continuing education and docent business. We also offer optional field trips in the region on related topics as well as occasional longer group trips to areas of interest.
The Docent Training fee is $60 – this includes 3 resource books, refreshments at meetings, and annual Docent Program dues of $20. There is a modest amount of assigned reading and you will be asked to prepare a short oral presentation each week.