Barry McNamara  |   Published July 19, 2016

Busy summer

Beadles ’17 finds perfect internship at Warren County History Museum
  • Kayla Beadles ’17 is spending her summer as an intern at the Warren County History Museum
To everyone who has a few items lying around the house that are no longer needed, Kayla Beadles ’17 has a great deal.

The Monmouth College senior, who is wrapping up a summer internship at the Warren County History Museum, 238 S. Sunnylane, is collecting such items for a community garage sale from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. July 30, with proceeds going to the museum.

A public relations and classics major, Beadles says the internship has been the perfect combination of her academic interests, giving her an opportunity to be involved in event planning while also gaining a new appreciation of the history of western Illinois.

“My second week here, the board held its semi-annual meeting, and they wanted to plan a fundraising event,” said Beadles, the daughter of the College’s director of counseling services, Cindy Beadles. “I came up with the garage sale idea, and they handed it over to me to organize.”

It figures to be a win-win, as the sale of donated items will net 100 percent profit. It will also bring increased traffic to the museum, including many who have never visited.

Once inside, visitors will likely be impressed by the large and diverse collection of historical treasures. Among Beadles’s favorites is a replica one-room schoolhouse, complete with original schoolwork and class photos from that era. She also ranked a Civil War drum and an old gas pump among her favorites.

“The internship opportunity fell into my lap beautifully,” said Beadles, who heard from communication studies professor Trudi Peterson that the museum’s new director, Kellen Hinrichsen, might be looking for help. “I called him, and he said, “’Yes, absolutely.’”

Beadles hadn’t been to the museum before, “so I came in with fresh eyes.”

“I want everybody to see what we have here,” she said. “Part of what I did this summer was to help create a marketing plan. We want to reach a different demographic, especially families with children. I think it’s important for kids to know about the history of where they’re growing up.”

To that end, Beadles has used social media, getting the museum started on Instagram and being more active on its Facebook site.

Beadles will enjoy a brief respite from work in early August before heading back to campus for what figures to be a very busy senior year. She will be a head resident in Grier Hall, and she also has a full-year internship lined up with the City of Monmouth, helping with its newsletter, among other tasks.

“My main goal after graduating is to be an event planner in a large city,” she said. “I talk to Kellen a lot about being a classics major, and he told me those kinds of majors are very valued by museums. So doing the communication and PR for a museum is another possibility.”
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