Geri Royer has been a docent at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park (SHP) with her husband since 1987. She has taken part in nearly every program at Sutter’s Fort and loves to interpret cooking and clothing from the mid-1800s. Read what she has to say about volunteering:
How did you get involved?
My husband wanted to start volunteering at Sutter’s Fort. I went along to see what he was getting himself into. I am more involved than he is thirty-two years later!
What’s your favorite part of volunteering?
I enjoy showing the visitors how cooking and sewing was done in the mid-1800s. Many do not realize what can be done without the use of electricity.
What is it that you do in your role as a Sutter’s Fort volunteer?
I am one of the main cooks in the Period Kitchen and train parents in the kitchen for the Environmental Living Program. I even self-published a book called Taste of the Fort: Recipes from the Kitchen of Sutter’s Fort which can be purchased online or in person at the Sutter’s Fort Gift and Trade Store.
When I first started, I was elected to the Sacramento State Parks Docent Association as a representative from Sutter’s Fort. The group consisted of the California State Railroad Museum, Sutter’s Fort SHP, State Indian Museum, Old Governor’s Mansion, and the Leeland Stanford Mansion. I was elected to the position of Vice President and the next year I served as President. When that association split I became head of the Association for the Capitol District.
During my years at Sutter’s Fort, I have been a part of the Rehab Team for the Gunsmith Shop and Period Kitchen, participated in River Trip (now called Trappers’ Camp), worked during our annual Traders’ Faire, and am a familiar face at many of our Hands on History events and Demonstration Days at Sutter’s Fort. I am also part of the Women’s Clothing Committee for Sutter’s Fort Docents and Volunteers.
What’s one of your favorite memories?
One of my recent favorite memories was showing a child how to tell time without using a watch. Of course, I also love seeing and hearing remarks about “that’s how my mom/grandma did it” when folks stop by the Period Kitchen.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not volunteering?
I really enjoy working with my hands – sewing, cross-stitch, cooking, some gardening, helping with DIY projects around the house, etc. I love visiting with friends and family when I can.
Thank you, Geri, for your hard work and dedication, and for your over 12,080 hours of volunteer service at the park! We appreciate everything you do — for us and for California State Parks!
We are proud to support the volunteer efforts at Sutter’s Fort SHP with the help of our sponsor, Sutter Health.