The Docent Program was initiated in 1975 to provide the Camp Pendleton Historical Program with a comprehensive guided tour at the Santa Margarita Ranch House National Site.
The site includes:
The Docent program is open to all individuals, male and female with a genuine interest in early California history. First and foremost, a Docent represents the Camp Pendleton Commanding General during all tours. The History Museum office is the base facility that helps support the Docent program. All Docents are provided formal training in various aspects of the Camp Pendleton history.
- The Ranch House
- The Ranch House Chapel
- The Bunkhouse Museum
- The Mechanized Museum
- The Las Flores Adobe and Estancia
The Docent organization is officially called Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores Docents and is a non-profit, 501 (C)3 corporation.
Training covers information about the program, Docent uniform requirements (each docent is responsible to provide his/her own uniform) and historical information. The trainee will also receive in-depth tours of the Ranch House, Chapel, Bunkhouse Museum and the Las Flores Adobe. All trainees will be given packets of information to read at their leisure. This information will coincide with their tour presentations. To help trainees learn about the artifacts and stories "cue cards" will be provided for initial use.
The trainee Docents will follow three experienced Docent-led tours. After three tours, the trainee will be asked to provide a tour to their mentor. Once all of this is accomplished the new Docents will be able to lead tours. There is no pressure to begin giving tours, as each Docent progresses at his/her own speed. Ideally, a Docent should be ready to lead a tour within two months of completing all of the above requirements.
An excellent way to begin giving tours is during a "Fiesta Style" tour. This type of tour has one Docent per room. The guests walk through each room at their own pace. Each room is considered an individual presentation. Each Docent gives the tour in a different manner, emphasizing favorite stories, remembering the basics facts should always be given first. Interesting information can be added only if time permits.