The docents and volunteers of Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead have a varied job which encompasses many different programs and responsibilities. Different tour groups and students of all age groups visit the site every month and their needs vary, educationally and interpretively. Students in the fourth grade who visit the site experience a program which is designed to accommodate California’s History and Social Science Standards while a group of adult students in a continuing education program tend to ask different questions and like to share their own stories and experiences.
To continually improve and enhance our docent program, the River Park will schedule field trips to other historic sites and museums. This allows them to experience a guided tour or interpretive program from a different perspective as well as increase their understanding of early San Diego and California history. Recently, they visited two historic sites in North County, Rancho Guajome and Rancho Buena Vista, both located in Vista. The Rancho Guajome Adobe was built by Cave Couts, a leader in cattle ranching and commercial agriculture like oranges after California’s statehood. The rancho, which consisted of 2,219 acres, was granted to his wife, Isadora Bandini and represents both the Hispanic and American traditions in early California. The Rancho Guajome Adobe is owned and operated by County of San Diego Parks and Recreation. We were lucky to have an outstanding docent who serenaded our tour on an antique organ. Afterwards, the group visited the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe. This property is unique in the fact that it was owned by many different people throughout history, from the first Californio it was deeded to, to Cave Couts, and to the other American families who lived in it up until 1989. Our docents were able to take home techniques and knowledge that will in turn improve the interpretive programs at Sikes Adobe. If you are interested in becoming a docent or farmstead volunteer, email the ranger at firstname.lastname@example.org.