The Neville Public Museum

Bruce the Spruce

The Neville Museum is proud to be the home of the original Bruce the Spruce from the Green Bay Prange's department store.  For those unfamiliar, Bruce is a large Christmas tree who lives at the North Pole with Santa Claus...but, it wasn't always so.  Legend has it that when Bruce was a young sapling, Santa landed his sleigh in the North Pole Forest on Christmas Eve to take a short nap before his long night of work, and would have slept right through Christmas if the talking tree hadn't woken him up!  From then on, Bruce could be found at Prange's near the holidays every year spreading Christmas cheer to shoppers and their children.

We keep the tradition alive by asking volunteers to be the voice of Bruce the Spruce.  You'll climb inside the 50+ year old tree, where you can see out but visitors can't see you, and spread your own Christmas cheer to children and adults alike.  In fact, you'll most likely talk to adults who remember going to see Bruce as children themselves!

How to Become Bruce and Training
If you're interested in portraying Bruce the Spruce and have never volunteered at the Neville before, the first step is to fill out a volunteer application, which also includes a county background check for volunteers 18+.  Once the results of the background check clear, there is a short orientation meeting in which you'll "meet" Bruce, receive and review a training packet, and have a chance to discuss Bruce with someone from our staff.  

At this meeting you will also schedule a time to observe an experienced Bruce volunteer for at least one hour, and sign up for your first shifts.  Please note that Bruce the Spruce volunteers are asked to sign up for a minimum of two shifts each holiday season.

Volunteers are asked to bring their calendars to their orientation meeting, and may sign up for additional shifts by calling or emailing Ryan.

  • An interest in working with people, especially children.
  • Outgoing and friendly nature, and ability to engage an audience. 
  • Willingness to adopt the persona of Bruce, and think quickly to answer questions about the character of Bruce.
  • Ability to commit to at least five hours of volunteering:  one hour observing, and two 2-hour long shifts as Bruce during the holiday season.
  • Ability to talk and sit inside Bruce for at least two hours. 
  • Volunteers must pass a county background check

To apply for this volunteer position, please complete this form, and either mail or scan to:

Neville Public Museum
Attn:  Ryan Swadley
210 Museum Pl
Green Bay, WI 54303
(920) 448-7840
[email protected]

Museum Hours

Sun: Noon-5pm
Mon: Closed
Tue: Noon-8pm
Wed: 9am-5pm
Thu: 9am-5pm
Fri: 9am-5pm
Sat: 9am-5pm

First Wednesday of every month: 9am-8pm*
*With free admission for Brown County residents with proof of residency