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Reach Out to Youth - Their Way

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The Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has a dedicated volunteer corps that until recently was comprised mainly of adults who had been serving the Museum for 20 to 30 years. Little thought had been given to succession planning, although the volunteers were clearly aging and not very diverse, yet some of these older volunteers are eager to train and teach others to take over.

The Glenbow made a conscious decision to focus recruitment efforts on youth, especially students from junior high to university. These young people have brought new enthusiasm to the volunteer program and offer hope for maintaining volunteer commitment into the future. This article examines what was learned about the special needs of young volunteers, particularly in how to communicate our recruitment appeals and how to support their efforts.