A new class of Will Rogers Memorial Museum Ropers (docents) are helping out with the many programs and projects at the Claremore Museum and Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch. Members of the graduating class are (from left) Linda Russell, Juanita Cody, Lynette Trotter, Norma Callicoat, Pat Crume, Sandy Sanders and Diane Davis. Ropers facilitating training were (back, from left) Harriet Kuykendall, Bob Seay and (front) Karen Tripp and Sherry Whisler.
January 2016: A new class of Will Rogers Ropers, volunteers at Will Rogers Memorial Museums, officially ended their training and received their badges of honor and red bandana neckerchiefs in early December. It was just in time for two days of volunteering for Will’s Country Christmas, a first-ever holiday event at Will’s Birthplace Ranch.
It was their second volunteer introduction. They helped with Will Rogers Days in November, a few weeks short of graduation.
“Ropers are a great asset to the success of the new education programs being introduced at the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore and Birthplace Ranch in Oologah,” said Tad Jones, museum executive director. “We would not be able to execute all the new programs without the wonderful help of our volunteers.” Veteran Ropers Bob Seay from Owasso, Harriet Kuykendall from Tulsa, and Karen Tripp and Sherry Whisler from Claremore, facilitated training of the new group, all women this year. They will volunteer as tour guides for the museums, help with special projects and work with the curator in museum archives.
All but one of the new class of Ropers hails from Claremore. Linda Russell is among the growing number of docents who live in Pryor. Others come from Collinsville, Bixby, Chelsea, Oologah, Owasso, Inola and Tulsa.
Claremore area residents in the newcomers’ group are Juanita Cody, Lynette Trotter, Norma Callicoat, Sandy Sanders and Diane Davis.
There are now 72 regular volunteers, six of them couples, on the Roper registry. Some volunteer as much as once or twice a week, others on a monthly and as-needed basis. A group volunteers for visits to senior and veterans centers and others assist Bart Taylor, assistant curator for education, and Andy Hogan, museum historical guide and Will Rogers’ interpreter, with visits to schools and school visits to the museums.
During each session, Roper trainees met museum staff, toured the Museum and Birthplace Ranch, read books by and about Will, viewed his movies, and were updated on a calendar of events for the coming year.
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