Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library comprises an outstanding naturalistic garden, the premier collection of American decorative and fine arts, and a nationally renowned research library, all in a historic Brandywine Valley landscape of nearly 1,000 acres. Winterthur’s mission is “to inspire, enlighten and delight all of its visitors while preserving and enhancing its buildings and landscape, its' collections and programs, and its' history as a country place."
Winterthur considers its employees and volunteers to be among its greatest assets and provides them with the chance to develop their love of the arts and horticulture while contributing to the mission of the institution.
Working at Winterthur is a unique and rewarding opportunity, offering a variety of career paths in a beautiful setting. At Winterthur employment is more than just work. Employees enjoy an environment that is rich in culture and natural beauty while contributing specific skills and upholding the core values of the organization.
The Estate Guide provides visitors access and connection to the garden and estate through interpretation and transportation. They provide excellent guest service and engagement in a gracious, courteous and responsible manner, being mindful of visitor safety and comfort at all times, by leading narrated tram tours of the garden and estate, guiding garden walks, and providing lightly interpreted estate shuttle transportation. They create a positive and memorable experience for Winterthur guests.
Provide excellent visitor service and understanding of Winterthur by welcoming visitors, meeting their needs for orientation, interpretation, comfort, and safety.
Provide interpretation of the garden and estate that suits various ages, abilities and interest levels, including via:
Narrated tram tours, which include driving up to 24 people in an open air tram along predetermined routes for up to 45 minutes while sharing interpretation, answering questions, and suggesting other opportunities available to visitors.
Narrated shuttle transportation, which include driving up to 20 people on a predetermined route to their various destinations while providing light orientation to the property, answering questions, and promoting daily offerings.
Guided walking tours of up to 90 minutes for general and specialist audiences, and school garden programs; some of which will have pre-determined interpretation, others will require the guide to determine best places to go and topics to discuss based on visitor interests.
Provide occasional transportation for day and evening weddings and special events
While driving on the property, the Estate Guide keeps an eye out for visitors who may require assistance, inclement weather, road hazards or safety/security obstacles, or any other unusual situations and circumstances, and, as needed, notifies Public Safety Dispatch and Supervisor
Complete basic pre and post shift vehicle inspections and report any issues
Perform other administrative, guiding or driving related duties as needed and requested by Supervisor
Valid Driver’s License free of any moving violations, and ability to successfully complete a Defensive Driving Course.
Driving 30-foot 24-passsenger garden trams and 20-passenger shuttle buses along an established route that may be changed due to weather, road conditions, or events.
Opening and closing over head garage doors
Occasionally loading or unloading a guest who uses a wheelchair. Ability to work with another staff member lowering and raising a 50-pound hinged wheelchair ramp. Ability to position an occupied wheelchair onto a ramp or lift, and to bend and kneel to fasten and unfasten restraints.
Working outside in adverse weather conditions.
Ability to step 12” into and out of tram.
Able to speak and hear in a normal range in order to answer guest inquiries
Able to safely drive at night.
If assigned to a garden walk, must be able to lead 90-minute walks, including walking securely over hilly terrain, on a variety of surfaces, and going up and down stairs, while interpreting.
Ability to communicate via email, with appropriate training provided by Winterthur
Work Schedule: Variable – weekday and weekend, occasional evening, early morning, and holiday work required.
Minimum Experience: 5 years’ experience in teaching, visitor service or tour industry with a talent for public speaking with a high school diploma
Preferred Experience: Knowledge of Delaware/Brandywine Valley area, experience commercial driving, and/or horticulture experience
Excellent visitor engagement, oral communication and interpersonal skills. Welcoming demeanor and ability to interact well with guests of all ages and abilities.
Knowledge of Winterthur garden and estate history, or ability to retain and interpret information provided during training and provide direction to points of interest for guests
Basic understanding of landscape design, plant materials, plant identification and horticultural practices.
Skilled in creative interpretation, using “Excellence in Interpretation” training techniques.
Able to maintain authority and appropriate assertiveness in ensuring that tours are conducted in accordance with Winterthur’ safety protocols, stay on time and on track, and safely direct visitors during an emergency
Problem solving and flexibility in face of guest, weather, and institutional demands
Knowledge of basic operation of motor vehicles is required. Able to operate trams and shuttle buses efficiently and safely including night driving. Defensive driving certification will be required as part of training.
Ability to understand and follow safety procedures, and written and verbal instructions. 9. Ability to complete basic reports, both handwritten and in Microsoft Word
Candidates are welcome to apply for the position of Estate Guide by following the included link: