This entry is to focus on the challenges of we docents at TMM face in meeting time restraints of visitors. I recently greeted a nice couple with four children, ages 8-15, from outside of Westchester, N.Y. I asked them what their time allowance was, and they said ” an hour and a half!” (a challenge persists). I offered them a 1 hour tour, or so, of the museum galleries, excluding The Monitor Center and The Chesapeake Bay Gallery. They willingly accepted and were most interested throughout the tour. It seems that their 14 year-old son had a basketball tournament nearby. They were most interested during the tour. While in the Great Hall of Steam, I noticed that the 10-year-old son was lingering in front of one of the working model steam engines. I said “it seems we have future engineer among us.” The mother replied, “that is what he wants to be”. At the completion of the gallery tour, we entered the museum back by The Monitor Center and I was able to convince them that the remaining part of their time would be best used by watching the Battle of Hampton Roads, which was showing just at the time we arrived at the entrance to the Battle Theater!
As I was escorting them out, the entire family was most gracious and said how impressed they were with the museum. The father said it was “incredible” what we had achieved in “only 90 minutes”. They will not long forget their “whirlwind” visit to The Mariners’ Museum. (nor will I)