Originally published in Castine Patriot, March 16, 2017
Castine Visitor Center to hire director
The Castine Visitor’s Center, located above the town dock in Castine, is looking for a director for the 2017 summer season.
by Monique Labbe
With the growth of the Castine Visitor Center since its inception in 2015, co-coordinators Jeannie Reed and Sue Macdonald are now in the process of hiring a director for the 2017 summer season.
The paid position is a first for the center, which has operated on a volunteer basis since opening right above the Castine Town Dock. Reed has been in charge of the volunteer schedule and has filled in on many shifts when a volunteer has not been available. Now, however, as both her daughters are expecting the birth of children this year, Reed has decided that she can no longer keep up in the capacity she has been.
“[Macdonald] has been such a driving force for this as well, but she’s also involved in so much in town that it became apparent to us that we needed someone to fill that position,” said Reed.
Part of the need for a director stems from the success that the Visitor Center had last summer, said Reed. She said that it was not uncommon, on a warm sunny day when several boats were docking in the harbor, for upwards of 30 people to walk in and out of the Visitor Center.
“People came in rather frequently,” said Reed. “It’s amazing how many people come to Castine just having heard about it, but they don’t know about the Wilson Museum or the lighthouse, so we direct them there. I think the Wilson Museum saw upwards of about 1,100 more visitors last summer.”
Reed said she hopes that the new director will be able to act as a liaison for the town with other area chambers of commerce, as well as be an active force on social media.
“The Castine Merchants Association does a really good job at trying to fill that void, but I think this would just be another layer in terms of getting the word out there about things going on in town and coordinating with as many local organizations and publications as possible,” said Reed.
Despite the director position being a paid one, Reed said that the center will still largely operate on a volunteer basis, as delegated by the director.
“I think one of the biggest reasons for its success is that people know the volunteers are in there because they want to be,” said Reed. “These are people who love Castine and want to talk about what’s going on in town. I think, as a visitor, it’s so great to hear about how amazing the town is from someone who isn’t getting paid to be there.”
The Visitor Center is scheduled to be open seven days a week during the summer season.