Visitors of the Cavalry and 1st
Infantry Division museums will soon have a new and improved museum gift shop to
After several weeks of
transition, the gift shop will soon be reorganized under new management with a
greater focus on ways to best serve patrons.
The gift shop is located
within the Cavalry Museum but also serves the nearby 1st Inf. Div. Museum.
In the past, the shop had been run by private proprietors, but now, it will be
run by a manager hired by the Friends of Fort Riley Museums organization.
For the first time, a gift
shop manager and clerk will be hired in order to offer more flexibility to employees,
as well as extend gift shop hours.
Stock will also be changing
some – concentrating more on the history of Fort Riley and the 1st Inf. Div.,
as well as adding gifts suitable for retirements.
Books on Fort Riley’s ghost
stories, compiled by the Historical and Archaeological Society of Fort Riley,
are set to be available for purchase in the new gift shop.
“We plan on having more items
for children as well, such as toy soldiers and history books for children that
deal with the cavalry, the Army and American history,” said Robert Smith, director,
Fort Riley museums, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
“The board would also like to see models of helicopters and tanks available.”
Efforts to bring more children’s
items into the shop are the result of consumer feedback, Smith said. Often
visitors traveling to Fort Riley want to buy something to bring back for a
child in their life.
“The gift shop is always popular
with kids, as well,” Smith said.
The museums see about 60,000
visitors each year.
Proceeds from the gift shop
go back into the museum itself.
“The museum has a dual
function – we teach Army history; we remember the Army’s past and its
traditions,” Smith said. “We play a prominent role for veterans who come in to
remember their time in the Army and in the 1st Inf. Div. We are also the face
of the U.S. Army; we put our best face forward and try to be our most
The gift shop and many of
the books it offers are popular with Soldiers looking to learn about specific Army
“The gift shop is important and an integral part to the
museum,” Smith said. “We’re working very hard to bring it back up because we
have a quality museum, and we want to have a quality gift shop.”