Volunteer Newsletter

Welcome to the ALL NEW Volunteer Newsletter

I am so excited to get this up and running.  I couldn't have done it without a new volunteer that has been helping out each week in the administrative offices, Isabel Leong.  A big THANK YOU to her for bringing this newsletter to fruition.  Each month or so, we will update this page with the following features:

Is there anything you would like to add? Send me an email with suggestions for a future newsletter. 

Without further ado, I would like to do our first highlight of a Rockstar Docent and a Rockstar Volunteer. 
(interviewed and written by Isabel Leong)


Cheryl Genovese came to Bozeman by way of Connecticut and Indiana. She worked in the school library and taught English for 37 years before retiring. When she first came to Montana, Cheryl met someone who volunteered at the museum, so when she moved here permanently she knew she wanted to volunteer here as well. Cheryl says it’s a neat way to interact with kids without having to grade papers, deal with parents, or do any serious discipline.

One of Cheryl’s first exhibits as a docent was “Geckos - Tails to Toepads,” in 2014. She says it was fun to see how the little kids enjoyed the live exhibit. Cheryl uses her background as an English teacher to help guide her tours. She creates a narrative, using the museum artifacts as her characters. She’ll point to Big Al and his thirteen broken bones, and ask, “What do you think happened here?”

During the summers, Cheryl also works down in the Tinsley House. Some of her most memorable volunteer experiences have taken place here. Once she and a guest got to chatting about regional dishes that you bring to family events and make around the holidays. Cheryl recalled that her family made Sugar Cream Pies. A few weeks later the lady Cheryl was chatting with sent her a note thanking her for the visit and included her recipe for Cinnamon Cream Pie, her regional specialty!

Cheryl speaks highly of the other volunteers at MOR, calling them a pseudo family. She says it’s nice to have a group of people that care about you. Her advice? Be flexible when giving tours! You never know when the weather might delay a school bus, or the group ahead is asking a lot of questions.

Cheryl also volunteers at the library, with the HRDC, at the senior center, at her church, and at the art association. Thank you for sharing your time with us Cheryl!


Peter Schenck has always been interested in paleontology. Before moving to Bozeman Peter taught English at North East Iowa Community College. He retired and moved to Montana where we immediately began volunteering at the Museum of the Rockies. A lifelong learner, Peter has enjoyed being a part of the MOR community and explaining exhibits to kids.

A recent transplant to Bozeman, Peter has been visiting for many years now. A trip to the museum with his family was a must! Two exhibits that stick out in his mind are, “Wolf to Woof, the Story of Dogs” in 2010 and “The Birth of Coffee,” in 2013. As a docent, Peter has been enjoying “Roots of Wisdom.” The exhibit ties together elements of history and science, and engages the kids well.

This past summer Peter enjoyed working in the Tinsley house alongside his granddaughter, Ellie. He was amazed at how many people from across the country and the world came to visit them. Peter says he would talk to farmer’s that knew more about the heirloom garden than he did!

Since volunteering at the museum, Peter has been impressed with his fellow docents. He knows he is part of a distinguished group and speaks highly of the other docent’s careers and dedication to the museum. They all really like what they’re doing, Peter says. He names Tom Wilson for bringing the volunteers together for coffee each month.

Thank you for your time, Peter!

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