One of my favorite things about being a docent is learning more about Japanese culture and sharing that with our guests.
— JFG Docent, Class of '17

Docent Training Schedule

Become a Japanese Friendship Garden Docent

The Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG) is recruiting enthusiastic individuals who would like to enhance their garden experience through volunteer service as docents. JFG docents primarily lead public and private tours of the garden, which involves being familiar with several aspects of the garden. This includes learning about JFG garden history, Japanese gardening principles, assorted tidbits about Japanese culture, and other topics in order to properly engage with a variety of guests. Docents act as ambassadors of JFG, allowing increased visibility of JFG through educational outreach at schools, but also within the garden through Docent Dialogues, where docents are available to answer guests’ questions about the garden or help explain more about the garden.

Requirements:

• Completion of Docent Program Application (due no later September 4, 2019)

• Completion of ten-week docent training program

- Training starts September 8, 2019
- Prospective docents will be able to attend sessions on
either Sundays or Wednesdays from 10:00am - 12:00pm each day

• A minimum one-year commitment to guiding tours

- Typical schedule is one-hour tours; twice a month

• Attendance at monthly docent meetings

• Active JFG membership

- Can be purchased during docent training

Qualified prospective docents are:

• Motivated, self-learners

• Flexible and passionate about sharing JFG with guests

• Able to interact with a variety of individuals

Docent positions are intended for individuals over the age of 18. Docents must be able to adhere by all JFG volunteer policies and Docent Program policies. Acceptance into the docent program is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check.

What is involved in the JFG Docent Program Training?

Prospective docents will undergo a ten-week training that involves learning about the Japanese Friendship Garden in-depth, including learning about the history of the garden, Japanese gardening principles, and assorted aspects of Japanese culture.

Prospective docents will also shadow experienced JFG docents to improve their understanding of tour execution.

Additional hours of self-study are involved. Prospective docents should allot extra time outside of training for studying and research.

For additional information, please feel free to contact Alexis Abille (Visitor Engagement & Education Coordinator) at docents@niwa.org

Banner photo by Dominic Nepomuceno