Docent Training

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What do Explore Buffalo docents do?

  • Volunteer docents lead all of Explore Buffalo’s walking tours, including regularly scheduled and private group tours for the general public, and school tours for thousands of students from elementary to high school. With hundreds of tours given each year, there are many opportunities to participate!

Why become a docent for Explore Buffalo?

  • Being a docent for Explore Buffalo is FUN! What could be more thrilling than showing people from around the world Buffalo’s incredible architecture and history?
  • Explore Buffalo is a docent-run organization, with a board of directors composed of active docents and volunteers, so your efforts will be supported and appreciated.
  • Being a docent is a great way to meet new people within Explore Buffalo or among our many community partners. Explore Buffalo organizes regular social events for docents and volunteers.

Who can become a docent for Explore Buffalo?

  • Anyone can become a docent! All that is required is an interest in and passion for Buffalo’s history and architecture.
  • You are supplied with thorough background information and reading materials, not a script to be memorized. We encourage you to develop your knowledge of Buffalo and your unique voice as a storyteller conveying the growing and changing story of our city.

Docent Training Programs

  • Our Winter Docent Training Program is on Saturday mornings from 9 AM – 12 PM for eight weeks in February and March. Information on this program is available beginning in November.
  • Our Spring and Fall Docent Training Programs are accelerated two-week programs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 9 AM – 12 PM. The Spring program is held in early May, and the Fall program is held in September. Information on the Spring program is available beginning in February, and information on the Fall program is available beginning in June.

Winter 2018 Docent Training Program

Tour Training

  • The Winter 2018 Docent Training Program will train new docents for the Masters of American Architecture downtown walking tour. Taking other Explore Buffalo walking tours is suggested preparation for Docent Training to become familiar with our walking tours.
  • The Masters of American Architecture tour is offered regularly from April through October and is a good starting point to learn other Explore Buffalo tours.
  • New docents are asked to learn a second tour of their choosing within one year of completing their graduation tour, either through a scheduled training class or one-on-one with a mentor.

Class dates & time

  • Saturday mornings, 9 AM to 12 PM, from February 3 through March 24, 2018
  • A Graduation Tour will be scheduled during the month of April upon completion of the course.
  • Weekly attendance is essential; applicants who will miss more than one class due to travel commitments, etc. should consider other volunteer opportunities with Explore Buffalo. Due to space constraints for the Docent Training Program, we are unable to accept docent trainees who will miss multiple classes.


  • Classroom sessions will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Symphony Circle.
  • Field sessions for the specific tour training will take place downtown.

Information Session

  • There will be an Information Session about the Winter Docent Training Program on Tuesday, January 9th at 7 PM at First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo at One Symphony Circle. This will be a one-hour overview of the Training Program and an opportunity to ask questions. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

Application process

  • Anyone interested in joining the Docent Training Program should fill out the online Application form available below as the first step of the application process. The application deadline is Friday, January 19, 2018.
  • After reviewing your application, Explore Buffalo will contact you with a phone call to discuss the program and your interests in Buffalo architecture, history, and more. Please note that phone calls will be made after January 1, 2018
  • Explore Buffalo will notify all applicants regarding acceptance into the 2018 Winter Docent Training Program via email. Space is limited in the Docent Training Program.
  • Upon acceptance, a course fee of $95 will be required from participants by February 1, 2018. This course fee covers the cost of printing and other materials for the course, and includes a portable microphone, Explore Buffalo messenger bag, and other tour supplies.


Applications for the Winter Docent Training Class Have Closed

Questions? Please contact Brad Hahn at