Volunteer stories

Paula Rodriguez de la Vega
Co-leader of the NatureKids South Okanagan Club

NatureKids BC provides a great framework for me to work with to be able to go out with my daughter (and family) and invite friends along to explore nature regularly. Some of the benefits of being part of Nature Kids as a leader are: having an organized email, a website, insurance coverage, first aid, ideas for explorer days, and a passport to get the kids excited about their achievements. It is rewarding to see young smiles and eyes full of wonder when children discover or experience something new in nature.

Being a volunteer with NatureKids BC has added laughter, nature moments, great support network and guidelines, and wonderful new friends to my life.

 

Kate Kutzner
Volunteer leader of NatureKids Kelowna Club

I have always had a need to be outside and exploring nature, and to share that with others. NatureKids gives me the opportunity to spread the love of science, nature, and adventure with those who are best able to appreciate it: kids!

Not only do I get to do something that I love on a regular basis, but I also get to meet amazing people in my town and be involved in events that shape the community. Nothing beats the look of wonder on a child’s face when they are immersed in nature and seeing something with new eyes.  Being a NatureKids leader lets me inspire kids to take a second look at things they have always seen.

 

Boleyn Relova
Co-leader of NatureKids Cowichan Valley Weekend Club

Volunteering as a nature club leader is a great way to explore the Cowichan Valley monthly with like-minded families. It’s a way for me to spend more nature time with our kids while learning with them from Nature Mentors.

As a volunteer, I am contributing to more kids spending more time outside with their families AND encouraging them to be active shaping the natural world in which we live. It warms my soul when kids get excited about a new nature discovery. With NatureKids, we are giving them that monthly with different Explorer Days. PLUS, our members become our friends we see monthly.

It’s an important aspect for me, that my kids see me giving back to the community. We role-model how we can make a difference in a small way in the community. I also enjoy being connected with our sponsors, The Cowichan Land Trust and Cowichan Valley Naturalists Society. Together, we are part of a nature network that keep people engaged and encouraged in what we can accomplish together.

If we didn’t have monthly NatureKids Explorer Days, our weekends would fill up with other things. But gosh, with those Explorer Days, we’ve been able to do a variety of things that maybe we would not normally do such as amphibian surveys, kayaking and taking part in a variety of walk/talks about bees, salmon,water buffalos, wild foods, wild flowers, rocks, outdoor survival, etc.

 

Anthea Farr
Co-leader of NatureKids Nicomekl Club

I think its very important to connect kids to nature.  Even kids already keen about birds, or mammals, may have little knowledge about plants, or bugs, or other parts of nature.  My co-leaders and I try to present a wide variety of Explorer Days, so the kids get a more complete picture of how everything is connected.  For example, it is very satisfying to know that one of our NatureKids can now name 4 native ferns, and is teaching other kids in their school something about botany.

Volunteering with NatureKids BC has connected me with some wonderful families, and great co-leaders!  We have had a lot of fun over many years.  I also value going to different places, some of which are new to me, and learning about nature there.

A benefit of volunteering is the feeling that you are doing something really worthwhile, which could help the planet in the future.  And you can actually get energy from the enthusiasm of these kids.  Plus you will learn from others, big and small – that never stops.

 

Brian Herrin
Author and co-editor of NatureWILD magazine

I was motivated to become a volunteer author for NatureKids BC as it gave me a chance to share my passion for raising small invertebrates.  Throughout my teaching career I had had cultures of insects and such in the room and was often asked how I managed to keep them going year after year.  To be able to share that information through the NatureWILD publication was a wonderful opportunity and after the first article was published soon their was a chance to write another and so it went, year after year until I presently find I am one of the co-editors of NatureWILD, now in colour, and a wonderful chance to both edit and write about fascinating creatures, plants and the natural world.  What could be better for a retired teacher to read and contribute to excellent articles that are all ‘A’ quality!

As far as what NatureKids BC added to my life – wonderful friendships and collegial relationships that keep me involved with the natural world and children enjoying the natural world.  It has been a wonderful gift!

The benefits for me as a volunteer is that I stay active in my life work and benefit from knowing that out in the readership there are children who are enjoying my suggestions and ideas for their life journey.  Time spent in the natural world is a wonderful extra for any life and as I meet, see and hear from children I have influenced a little I know I have left a legacy that will go on and on – just like my teachers did for me.

To have seen the rise of NatureWILD from it’s earlier years to the colourful publication it is today coupled with the Curriculum Connections that will benefit the school children in BC and perhaps beyond has been a great treat.  To be invited to join in the production of such a magazine is an opportunity that allows me to keep looking back on a very enjoyable life as well as forging a new path into the future.