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Minnesota Childrens Museum Blog

Minnesota Children's Museum's best stories come from the daily interactions with visitors. "Kids say the darnedest things," as the old chestnut goes. Jessica Turgeon, the director of organizational development and visitor services (and holder of the longest title at the Museum) has worked for the Museum for almost 12 years, starting first as a cashier. She has heard many cute-kid stories in all those days in a purple vest.

With the addition of her "Tales from the Floor" contributions to the Smart Play blog, she will share some of the best "heard-at-the-Museum"s and the inner workings behind the purple vests of the Minnesota Children's Museum visitor assistants. These stories will provide insight into how the staff members and volunteers keep visitors' experiences educational, safe and fun.

Tales from the Floor: Lost Children
Safety is our number one priority at the Museum. One of the most common safety concerns we encounter is reuniting lost children with their adults (or reuniting lost adults with their children!). While this can be a very scary situation for them, it is something we handle literally every single day.

When we are reuniting families, we ask the child (or adult) for a description to help us look for the person who is lost, and then share those descriptions with the staff over our two-way radios. Here are some of our favorite radio calls:
• I am with Caleb and we are looking for his mom. Her name is “mommy” and she looks like an angel.
• I am with Sam, we are looking for his dad. His name is Mike and he has a big head.
• Cancel that search for Keisha’s mom -- mom didn’t come with to the museum today. We are now looking for Keisha’s dad...
• I didn’t find the girl in the pink leopard shirt, but I did find a pink leopard shirt in the Atrium. We are now looking for a three-year-old girl with brown hair and no shirt.

Visiting the Museum? Here are some tips for a safe visit:
• Talk to your child about what to do if they get lost -- anyone in a purple vest can help them
• If your child is old enough, make sure they know your first and last name -- not just “mom” or “dad”
• If you lose your child during your visit, stay calm and find a visitor assistant in a purple vest right away

-Jessica Turgeon, director of organizational development and visitor services


At January 26, 2010 at 7:37 AM Hanan Cohen said...

This is what we do at the Bloomfield Science Jerusalem.

On busy days, when visitors approach the information desk of the museum, they are encouraged to write their mobile phone number on a sticker and attach it to their children.

When (not if) children are separated from their parents and are lost, the museum guides call the number and they reunite very quickly.

This method saves pain for children and parents. Also, it enables us not to use our PA system extensively for finding lost children.

Here is a photo of a kid with a sticker



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