Become a Docent

  Bring inspiration and education to our visitors!

You will lead insightful tours of the garden and library; introduce visitors to our rich botanical and historic collections, and share your love of the Sherman with the public.

No experience necessary – just an interest in gardening, art, and the history of the Southwest as well as strong interpersonal and communication skills. If you are interested in joining our dynamic, diverse group and providing an indispensable service to hundreds of visitors, we welcome your application.

What you will do:

Tour Guide 

Our Docents lead tours of the Garden and Library for community groups including schools, garden clubs, senior citizens clubs, girl scouts and families. Each Docent usually guides a group of no more than 10 people and the standard one hour tour includes an introduction to each part of the garden as well as a visit to the Research Library. 

Docent on Duty 

Docents on Duty are available in the garden to answer questions and interact informally with our guests. They are usually based at an information table but are also welcome to walk around the gardens. Sometimes the table will have a small exhibit which offers a seasonal talking point, educational topic or demonstration. Usual shifts are between 11am – 3pm weekdays and weekends.

Monthly Meeting 

The Docents meet monthly in the Tea Garden. This meeting includes updates from Sherman staff, visiting speakers and an opportunity to socialize as well as a training presentation. Docents pay annual dues of $20 to be part of our Docent Guild which covers the costs of hospitality and other expenses.

Docent Commitment:

  • Serve as Tour Guide or Docent on Duty twice a month on an annual basis

  • Attendance at monthly Docent Guild meetings

  • Participation in continuing education and occasional other programs or events 

  • Payment of annual dues: $20

  • Two year commitment after training 

New Docent Training

New Docents join our eight week training program, which is led by the Sherman Education and Horticultural team, and takes place annually.

This year the New Docent Training Course runs for 8 consecutive Tuesday mornings from August 24 to October 12, 2021. The course will equip you with the skills and information to give a general 60 minute tour of Sherman Library & Gardens to visiting groups of adults or families. 

Each week the course will include lectures or tours relating to one or two of the 12 sections of the tour. Sherman Library & Gardens has a small 2.2 acre campus and includes numerous small gardens, a conservatory, a research library, restaurant and shop. During the training you will meet the Sherman staff, get to know the current Docents and go behind the scenes. Most lectures and tours are delivered by Sherman Horticulture or Education Staff. You will be assigned a current Docent as a Mentor and be given the opportunity to shadow their tours. A training manual is provided, with comprehensive notes, and each week you will be asked to prepare 5-10 minutes of your tour so that, by the end of the course, you will be ready to give the full tour. You will officially become an ‘Active Docent’ once you have given a tour for the public accompanied by one of the Sherman team.

Dates for this year’s training program: Tuesday mornings, August 24 – October 12, 2021 

Course Fee: $70  

For more information about becoming a Docent please fill in the form below or contact:

Marguerite Voorhees
Docent-In-Training Liaison
714-906-8229
[email protected]