It is not uncommon at this time of year for people to surmise that things must really be slowing down at the museum. That perception is partially correct. In October we transition from a 7 day week to a 5 day week. The animals are gone for the winter, so there are no barnyard chores to do. Our outdoor Village is closed and being prepared for winter, so the visitor count is down significantly from the summer months. Very few school classes are coming to visit Mennonite Heritage Village on class tours. The Livery Barn Restaurant is closed, so the lunch traffic we experience in summer is gone. In these aspects, it certainly does feel quieter here.

With this change in season, however, a less visible type of busyness takes over at MHV. Planning and preparing for next year begins in earnest. We need to consider and select a theme for our 2013 season. Roles and responsibilities need to be assessed in light of shifting business models and realities. To strengthen teamwork and goal setting, individual staff need to receive constructive feedback on their performance this past year.

Fall also seems to be the time of year when people seem most willing to make donations to charities. In light of this, we need to spend time and energy letting our constituents know how this year has gone at MHV, how we anticipate the coming year to take shape, and how they can support us with both funds and volunteer time. So while this may appear to be a slow time of year for us, in reality there is a lot to be accomplished before our next tourist season begins.

About the Author

Gary is responsible for the overall management of MHV. Guiding the staff, informing the board, and networking with officials, volunteers, corporate sponsors, individual donors and other guests. He has a business diploma and a MA in Global Studies from Providence Theological Seminary. With his family he did humanitarian work for 18 years in Asia, including being a CEO of a Compost Enterprise in China. He loves to discuss the Mennonite story and how it is relevant in our world. Learn more about the MHV. is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.