Have you ever wondered about those people you see around the Mission with the black hats and various red & black attire?

These are our Mission San Juan Docents. Docents make California history come alive for over 50,000 school children and adults each year. If you love history, have a natural curiosity, enjoy people and like sharing with others, this may be a volunteer position for you!

The Docent Society is comprised of individuals with a strong sense of history, a passion for remembering it, and the ability to share it with others.

Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano, said: “Docents have the opportunity to change a student’s perspective from one that thinks history is boring to one that views history as interesting. As I still remember my 4th grade field trip to this mission, it inspired me to care about history. Unfortunately here at the Mission, we don’t have enough docents and hope that we can attract more interesting people who want to make a difference through docent work.”

In order to become one of the Mission San Juan Capistrano Docents, individuals must participate in all four of the scheduled training classes, one-on-one training with a Docent mentor, as well as complete observations of other Docent tours. The entire process can be completed within eight weeks of the first training class.

The Mission San Juan Capistrano Docent Society has been in existence for 28 years and has a membership of more than 100. The purpose of the society is to educate and inform the visitors about Mission San Juan Capistrano. Training fees are $25 per person, payable the second training session. The fee covers training materials and the first year’s membership dues. The minimum annual service requirement is 12 tours.

Docents come from many walks of life. They consist of men and women who want to share their knowledge with others. Docents are asked to conduct monthly tours and attend monthly meetings. As a society, the docents plan visits to surrounding historical sites, participate in fund raising projects and assist with special projects. The reward for helping history come alive for visitors is satisfaction of a job well done.

They narrate the history of how Mission San Juan was established and share the story of the Native Americans, Spanish padres, and the leather jackets who came to this site. The thank you letters from the many school children are a fantastic reward. It is their desire, for all who come to Mission San Juan Capistrano, to leave with a sense of marvel and awe about this amazing California story.

The Mission San Juan Capistrano Docent Society will conduct training classes for new Docents.

Upcoming training dates:
Tuesdays January 31, February 7, February 14 and February 21, 2017
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Historic Sala

Join the docent society today! To apply for this volunteer group, please download application (pdf)


For further information regarding membership and to help us make a difference,
please contact Pat March, Volunteer Program Administrator at (949) 234-1322 or pmarch@missionsjc.com