Showing posts tagged as "volunteers"
Ever wonder what things look like from INSIDE the Kelp Forest exhibit? Our divers get a seldom-seen view, including the cool #selfie you see here. Thanks to longtime volunteer Chad King for the great shots!
Were you there? Our teen groups were joined by other enthusiastic volunteers for the 29th Annual Coastal #CleanupDay and collected 260 pounds of trash and 53 pounds of recycling at Casa Verde Beach, and 200 pounds of trash and 175 pounds of recycling in Watsonville. Statewide, 51,000 volunteers collected 51 tons of material. Our beaches thank you!
Do you love to share the Aquarium with family and friends? Become a part of our volunteer family and share your love with new friends from around the world. Attend an informational meeting August 15 at 7 p.m. at the Aquarium.
Goodbye to our 2013 Teen Conservation Leaders
What did you do during your summer vacation? 110 active and ambitious teens participated in our 2013 Teen Conservation Leaders (TCL) program, which wraps this week. The teens worked throughout the Aquarium as visitor guides, as well as mentors to younger teens in other educational programs.
The TCL program emphasizes service learning and youth development, encouraging students to grow in their knowledge of the ocean while learning communication and social skills. As the core of the teen programs at the Aquarium, TCL inspires students to cultivate their love of the ocean and take action on its behalf. The students also gain community service hours, professional skills, self-confidence, and new friends.
As we say goodbye, here’s a glimpse of what they learned this year, in their own words.
— Story and pictures by Emily Long (with help from some Teen Conservation Leaders!)
Meet Virginia Russell: Guide, Diver, Mentor—and Recipient of the Lucile S. Packard Memorial Award
What does it take to be an outstanding volunteer? A lot of heart, a love for our oceans—and about 4,000 hours of service! Meet Virginia Russell of Pacific Grove, recipient of this year’s Lucile S. Packard Memorial Award for outstanding service. She began volunteering in the fall of 2005 and has contributed 4,045 hours as a guide, tour leader, husbandry volunteer, diver and mentor.
“Her smile, warmth, and enthusiasm for the Aquarium and ocean conservation are at the core of every tour that Virginia leads,” said one Aquarium employee. “She truly knows how to make an emotional connection with her audience and inspires them to care for the oceans.”
Virginia has performed many popular Kelp Forest narrations, having learned to present this program from the “wet side” as a volunteer diver. While Russell serves as a mentor herself, she frequently seeks feedback from staff so that her programs are continually connecting to and resonating with guests. Additionally, she is one of the Aquarium’s most active divers, participating on three separate volunteer dive teams and logging over 300 dives during her nearly nine years of service.
“Virginia epitomizes the spirit of the Lucile Packard Award,” says Jim Covel, senior manager of guest experience. “She would be the first to say the smiles on the faces of the guests she works with are the best reward for her efforts.”
Won’t you offer Virginia your congratulations if you see her during your next visit?
Mrs. Packard, along with her husband David Packard, made the initial gift to build the Aquarium. She was the driving force behind creation of the Aquarium’s internationally acclaimed volunteer program. More than 1,200 individuals are currently active volunteers at the Aquarium. Collectively, they donated 13,339 hours every month in 2012, for an annual total of 160,059 hours.
He’s still at it! Dr. Steve Webster was one of the founders of the Aquarium in 1984 and you can see him onsite narrating auditorium programs, giving lectures and helping educate our guides. Here he is on graduation day for our Teen Conservation Leaders program, on the nearby site of the old Chinese fishing village.
What’s it like to be a volunteer diver? This is as close as you can get without getting wet!
Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and represent all ages, from teenagers to age 93! In fact, our 93-year-old, Paul Croonquist, will be working Thursday! In honor of National Volunteer Week, won’t you thank him for his service?
Is it possible to measure the amazing contributions of our volunteers? Here’s a start: Last year we had 1,259 volunteers contributing 156,000 hours! Thank a volunteer today in honor of National Volunteer Week, April 21-27.
Ever reached out and touched a star with the help of one of our volunteer guides? National Volunteer Week is later this month, April 21 - 27!