Your Guide to Tour Guides


Matthew Albren, Guest Writer

I love a lot about Pingree: the community is incredibly inclusive, the academics are effectively taught, the people who attend the school are happy, the grounds are amazing, and a lot else. The thing is, everyone here already knows these things, so there is no opportunity to get to talk about them. But, if you’re like me, you want to talk about these things and let the rest of the world know how great Pingree really is. This is my long way of introducing you to the idea that you should be a Pingree tour guide this year–or at least, before your Pingree career ends. As a sophomore transfer last year, I was surprised that the admissions department was willing to let me help out with some tours because my knowledge of Pingree was limited compared to some of the students who’d been on campus longer. However, I knew it was something I wanted to do and I ended up giving tour after tour after tour and developed more and more of an aptitude for giving tours effectively. Now, I anxiously await when tours begin again and I will get to meet the next generation of possible students and their parents who could join the Pingree community next year. Maybe you wonder if you’re qualified enough to give a tour–especially if you are a freshman or a sophomore transfer or a sophomore, junior, or senior who just never tried giving a tour before. Believe me: if anyone was under-qualified for giving tours, it was me last fall. But I accepted the challenge and now I love giving tours and having the opportunity to talk about why Pingree is so great and engage with such diverse, friendly, new people. Tours are often structured with a prospective student and their parent(s)/guardian(s) accompanying you as you lead them around the campus and talk about what Pingree has to offer and what makes it such a great school. You won’t miss class time to give a tour, and they will often run during your free blocks. The nice thing is, most tours take no more than forty-five minutes if done well, so you would never lose a full free block to give a tour. Tours are really helpful for practicing speaking aloud and thinking quick if you don’t know the answer to something. Pingree’s Open House in October is a great opportunity to try out your touring skills because tours at the Open House are much more informal. Plus, the possible new students and their families will likely be so overwhelmed that a college-esque process has begun that you can make a tiny mistake and they won’t even notice. You don’t need to know every tiny, minute detail about Pingree to lead a successful tour and you can mess up on a tour too and it’s fine if you can think quickly on your feet. For my first few tours, I had never visited the MakerSpace or the mailboxes, I didn’t know that the rotunda was the rotunda, I didn’t know what kids did in the Hub (RIP), I didn’t know what it felt like to spend a whole year in a Pingree class, and I didn’t even know what it was like to be a freshman at Pingree. If you are passionate about Pingree and you want to meet some of the new prospective students, at least try giving a tour once because even if it seems like there are more possible ways that you could make a mistake than you can count on one hand, a challenge is still always worth trying. It’s so exciting and at the end of the day, it is so fulfilling to know that you have helped another kid struggling to decide what to do for high school by showing him or her what the best option truly is–Go Highlanders!