Tom Egbert, Will Rogers Memorial Museums Roper-Docent, was on hand to represent Ropers to receive the “Outstanding Local Oklahoma Historical Society Support Group” honor during the annual OHS Oklahoma History Conference awards ceremony. Dr. Bob Blackburn, OHS executive director, made the presentation.
Will Rogers Ropers (docents), organized in late 2008, earned the Oklahoma Historical Society “Outstanding Local OHS Support Group” at the annual OHS Conference in Catoosa last week.
The first Roper class graduated in time for Will Rogers Days after several weeks of training to familiarize them with Will Rogers persona as well as the Memorial and Birthplace Ranch and all aspects of the Museums’ functions.
That class of 19 has grown to 65 members, who volunteer regularly.
The docent roster includes homemakers, retired business men and women, doctors, dentists and lawyers, working professionals, a retired long-haul truck driver, bankers and business owners — all devoted to the Museums’ mission of helping collect, preserve and share the life, wisdom and humor of Will Rogers for all generations.
“There are so many programs we just could not do without the Ropers,” said Tad Jones, Will Rogers Memorial Museums executive director. “When visitors and school groups arrive, the Ropers are invaluable.”
Ropers were at the Museum to greet the more than 400 school children, parents, grandparents and teachers who visited on April 28. Jones said there were vehicles in every available parking place.
“The Museum had a great sound,”said Andy Hogan, Museum historical guide and Will Rogers’ interpreter. “That sound is called enthusiasm, kids enthusiasm looking for answers to their scavenger hunt. For a lot of them this was their first lesson on Will Rogers,” he said, at the same time applauding Ropers for helping keep the movement flowing throughout the Museum.
Ropers are involved not only in greeting visitors and leading tours, but working with the curator in collections and exhibits.
There is a Ropers session underway now. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can contact Harriet Kuykendall, volunteer coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.