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By CAROL COMEGNO
Wanted: Employees to work for free in unique setting overlooking the Philadelphia and Camden waterfronts. The nonprofit Home Port Alliance is looking for volunteer tour guides for next month's projected opening of the battleship USS New Jersey as a museum.
Scott Kodger, ship curator, said about 120 volunteers have signed up. The goal is 250.
"It's a professional program we're running with training," he said. "It's an opportunity to become part of an historical ship."
He said the alliance will provide a uniform, hat, employee manual and a discount at the ship's store.
"There will be another fringe benefit. They will have access to some of the areas not yet open to the public," he said.
Many of the guides, or docents, will be assigned to stations as visitors tour different sections of the ship.
Bernadette Menna of Cherry Hill is one of nine docent supervisors.
"I started in January, taping and papering to get ready for painting when there were few women," aboard as volunteers, she said.
"I liked everything about the ship,'' she said. "When you come on board, you fall in love with it. There's the excitement of getting something ready and then telling others about it to preserve it for generations," she said.
The World War II-vintage New Jersey, the most-decorated Navy battleship, is due to open sometime in September at a new, $11 million pier behind the Tweeter Center and south of the New Jersey Aquarium.
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