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Volunteer at Sully Historic Site


Sully Historic  Site
[ 3650 Historic Sully Way ] [ Chantilly, VA 20151 ] [ 703-437-1794 ]

Volunteer at Sully Historic SiteAn oasis of the past, located in Chantilly off Route 28, Sully Historic Site reflects the history of Fairfax County. Sully is the late 18th century home of Richard Bland Lee, northern Virginia's first congressman and uncle of Robert E. Lee. The farm contains the Federal style main house, built in 1794, four original outbuildings, a representative slave quarter, and gardens. Guided hourly tours highlight the early 19th century life of Richard Bland Lee and his family, as well as tenant farmers and enslaved African Americans. Sully also offers a variety of special programs and field trips that reflect the history and life in Fairfax County from the 18th century throughout the 20th century.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Click on a position below to learn more!

 Touring Docent

Goal: To enhance the public’s appreciation and understanding of Fairfax County’s cultural and historical heritage by providing quality interpretation and service to visitors.

Duties: Guides small group and individual tours of the historic site. Facilitates discussion and answers questions relevant to site history, buildings, grounds, and collections. Supports scheduled site programs and special events.

Qualifications: Strong interest in history and stewardship of county's cultural and natural resources. Ability to communicate effectively with varied audiences, from children to adults. Teamwork with other volunteers and staff essential.

Training: Volunteers will receive Sully’s Docent Manual and Forgotten Road Tour Manual to provide them with an overview of Sully’s history. Will receive on-the-job training by a Historical Interpreter or Historian and will follow tours of other staff members and volunteers. Will do a walkthrough with staff before conducting tours.

Time Commitment: Prefer a one year commitment. Upon completion of training, to remain an active volunteer, must volunteer at least one day a month. Availability everyday 11 a.m. - 4p.m., except Tuesdays.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

 Teaching Docent

Goal : To instill in school-age children an appreciation and understanding of Fairfax County’s cultural and historical heritage.

Duties: Leads small groups of children through the historic site. Generates discussion and answers questions relevant to site’s history, buildings, grounds, and collections. Directs children in "hands-on" activities. May dress in period clothing.

Qualifications: Strong interest in history and the stewardship of the county's cultural and natural resources. Patience with young children and the desire to communicate effectively with children is essential. Teamwork with other volunteers and staff essential. Experience in providing leadership for groups of children is helpful.

Training: Volunteers will learn to give house tours and will be provided with the subject specific manuals for learning centers, Sully’s Docent Manual and Forgotten Road Tour Manual. Will train alongside current volunteers to master one or more learning centers and will do a walkthrough with staff.

Time Commitment: Prefer a one year commitment. Upon completion of training, to remain an active volunteer, must volunteer at least one day a month. Availability Monday, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 10 a.m.- Noon, October-December and February-June. May give tours during the summer months, every day from 11a.m.-4p.pm, except Tuesdays.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

 Historical Interpreter

Goal : To enhance the public’s appreciation and understanding of Fairfax County’s cultural, historical, and natural heritage through interpretation, skills and demeanor.

Duties: Supports interpretive programs and special events. Generates discussion and answers questions relevant to site’s history, buildings, and grounds. Demonstrates relative skills and ability according to the time period being interpreted. Directs visitors in hands-on activities. May dress in period clothing.

Qualifications: Strong interest in history and stewardship of county’s cultural and natural resources. Ability to communicate effectively with varied audiences, from children to adults. Ability to demonstrate tasks and activities reflecting various periods of history. Teamwork with other volunteers and staff essential.

Training : Volunteers will receive Sully’s Docent manual and Forgotten Road Tour manual to provide them with a full overview of Sully’s history. They will have on-the-job training alongside current living history interpreters and follow at least two house tours.

Time Commitment: Prefer one year commitment. Upon completion of training, to remain an active volunteer, must volunteer at least one day a month. Availability everyday 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., except Tuesdays.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

 Youth Historical Interpreter (12-18 years)

Goal : To provide quality interpretation and service to visitors though active involvement during programs through interpretation, skills and demeanor.

Duties: Assists with historical interpretive programs and special events. Generates discussion and answers questions relevant to the site’s history, buildings and ground. Demonstrates relative skills and ability according to the time period being interpreted. May dress in period clothing.

Qualifications: Must have parental approval. Strong interest in history and stewardship of county’s cultural natural resources. Ability to community effectively with varied audiences, from children to adults. Teamwork with other volunteers and staff essential.

Training: Will receive on-the-job training. Volunteers will receive Sully’s Docent Manual to provide them with a full overview of Sully’s history and will received specific information for programs.

Time Commitment: To remain an active volunteer, must volunteer at least one day a month. Flexible hours which can include some weekends and evenings. Availability every day, except Tuesdays.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

 Museum Aide

Goal: To assist Sully behind the scenes through research, administration, and program development.

Duties: Conducts research related to natural, cultural, and historical resources in the park. Assists with administrative projects and program development.

Qualifications: Computer literacy. Ability to work independently and focus on details. Strong interest in history and stewardship of county's cultural and natural resources. Prior research experience is helpful, but not required. Teamwork with other volunteers and staff essential.

Training: Volunteers will receive on-the-job training. Volunteers will receive Sully’s Docent Manual to provide them with a full overview of Sully’s history.

Time Commitment: Prefer a one year commitment. To remain an active volunteer, must volunteer at least one day a month. Flexible weekday or weekend hours. Hours vary with project.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

 Museum Collections Assistant

Goal: To preserve and record Fairfax County’s history and material culture.

Duties: Various clerical duties associated with data entry, record keeping and cataloging procedures for historic artifacts and archives. In-house research on historic artifacts and exhibit label preparation. Photography.

Qualifications: Computer literacy. Ability to work independently and focus on details. Strong interest in and/or experience with period decorative arts and American history. Prior research experience is helpful, but not required. Teamwork with other volunteers and staff essential.

Training: Volunteers will receive on-the-job training to learn the proper cataloging, maintenance and handling procedures for historic artifacts, documents and archives. Tour the collections storage facility. Volunteers will receive Sully’s Docent Manual to provide them with a full overview of Sully’s history. In addition, they will have access to Lee family letters and collections materials.

<<b>Time Commitment: Prefer a one year commitment. To remain an active volunteer, must volunteer at least one day a month. Flexible weekday or weekend hours dependent on projects.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

 Special Events Assistant

Goal: To enhance the public’s appreciation and understanding of Fairfax County’s cultural and historical heritage through support of special events.

Duties: Assist with site special events by providing visitor services, maintenance, and event set-up or clean-up. These tasks may include physical labor, administrative assistance, and/or working with the public. Some pre-event meeting and preparation of materials may be required.

Qualifications: Teamwork with other volunteers and staff ad willingness to work with a variety of duty assignments is essential. Experience and interest in working with the public, especially families and large crowds is needed.

Training: Volunteers will receive on-the-job training.

Time Commitment: Prefer a one year commitment. As needed according to event needs. Hours vary with project.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

 Gardener

Goal: To enhance park grounds for visitor enjoyment and education.

Duties: Assists with all phases of indoor and/or outdoor gardening including mulching, propagation, transplanting, weeding, watering, and harvesting. Checks for damage to plants and takes necessary action. Notifies supervisor of equipment needs.

Qualifications: Basic horticulture knowledge; hands-on gardening experience; interest in the stewardship of the county’s natural and cultural resources.

Training: Work with one of our seasoned gardeners or maintenance supervisors at first. Read materials relevant to federal period heirloom gardening and Sully’s garden history.

Time Commitment: Prefer a one year commitment. To remain an active volunteer, must volunteer at least two 3-5 hour periods per month. Seasonal commitment is flexible.

Volunteer ApplicationAPPLY ONLINE NOW

Volunteer at Sully Historic Site

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What Volunteers have to say about Volunteering at Sully

"Every day is different! The tours given here are often guided by the visitor’s interest and questions. The staff is always interested in you as an interpreter and your comfort in the job!"

Crawford, Touring Docent

"Sully is beautiful, vibrant and alive. As volunteers, we are given much latitude to tailor our tours and programs to fit our visitors’ interests and questions—and even more important, our ideas and questions are taken seriously! It’s wonderful to be part of the team at Sully."

Dottie, Touring and Teaching Docent

Sully Historic Site Volunteeers

The Benefits of Volunteering at
Sully Historic Site

We would not be able to operate Sully without the help of our wonderful volunteers! We try to show our appreciation for our active volunteers by offering several unique opportunities including:

  • 10%off of merchandise in our gift shop, 20% off in December.
  • Free admission for volunteer and immediate family to non-ticketed special events, such as the Annual Car Show, World War II Weekend, and Civil War Weekend.
  • Occasional volunteer field trips and appreciation events.
    Past events have included winter soirées, spring picnics, and field trips to local historic sites such as Ben Lomond Historic Site and Mt. Gilead.
  • HHMC Volunteer Membership
    Sully Historic Site is a member of the Historic House Museum Consortium, a collection of historic house museums in the local Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area. As a volunteer at an HHMC site, membership cards can be checked out which allow the bearer to gain free admission or discounted admission into other participating sites such as Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Clara Barton National Historic Site, and Tudor Place Historic House and Garden, among many others.
Sully Historic Site Volunteeers
Sully Historic Site Volunteeers
Sully Historic Site Volunteeers


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