Lumberjack Steam Train & Camp 5 Museum Complex

Museum Manager

June - August 2020 • Laona, WI

What I liked

Very little. The area was beautiful, the steam train was interesting, animals are also abundant. It's northern Wisconsin.

What I wish was different

I was fired without any formal warning or communication of dissatisfaction. Consider also the fact that I had moved four hours from home for this summer job, and had to pack up and leave the day of. The management is of no help. Contacting my employer in the months leading up to the job was nearly impossible and was a red flag to begin with. When I reached the house that we were staying in, the place was filthy and infested with flying carpenter ants in the living room. Since the beginning, I was promised WiFi, and never got it over the course of the summer. The job itself was a disaster. I, apparently, was the first museum manager they had hired, and my experience very much reflected this. Aside from walking around the place and being handed a to-do list of preparatory tasks before the season opening, there was zero, and I mean zero, formal training. Every day I would wonder why I was needed and what my priorities should have been other than supervising the blacksmith shop and working on an archive project. As someone who HAS worked with reputable museums in Milwaukee before on archival projects, management had no clue how to go about it, nor did they have any specific vision as to what was to be done other than "organizing" and "archiving". The archival room is above an old granary, and the air was thick with the smell of mouse and bird feces. After beginning and making ground in my archival project, a member of the family was introduced and decided to do things differently, effectively changing the organizational system I was working with. It is not advisable to put two people on an archival project if they have both not been given the same official guidelines. Aside from this, do not expect to be managing the museum aside from cleaning it up before the season. I found myself doing all sorts of tasks that were not included in my job description such as: -Picking buffalo bur (Google it) without being provided proper gloves. -Spraying bee's nests, again without any regard for safety. -Cutting and removing trees around two feet in diameter that had fallen over the forest tour path with chainsaws. Again. No safety equipment provided.


Stay far away from this business. It's not what it seems.
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