National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week happens all around Canada this week (April 23-29) and it is a great opportunity to celebrate the generous spirit of our volunteers and reflect on the many ways that volunteers are part of NatureKids BC.
Last year, 77 volunteers – who come from all walks of life – contributed more than 8,000 hours of their time as well as knowledge to the organization. And, that doesn’t even include the many generous nature mentors who help deliver most of the Explorer Day adventures around the province.
Volunteers have supported NatureKids BC in so many ways over the past year: including as nature club leaders that plan and deliver Explorer Days; on our Board of Directors by providing strategic, financial and governance oversight; by helping out with office tasks and event outreach; and as editors and authors of NatureWILD magazine.
Some of these extraordinary individuals have told us about their motivations for volunteering and the benefits that it brings to their lives. You can read more stories on our Facebook page.
According to Kate Kutzner, the volunteer leader of NatureKids Okanagan Club, 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 her inspire kids to take a second look at things they have always seen. Paula Rodriguez de la Vega, the co-leader of the NatureKids South Okanagan Club agrees with Kate and for her, to see young smiles and eyes full of wonder when children discover or experience something new in nature is rewarding.
Anthea Farr also shared her testimony about the experience of being a volunteer for more than 10 years. She thinks it’s 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. She and her co-leaders try to present a wide variety of Explorer Days, so the kids get a more complete picture of how everything is connected. Boleyn Relova, who’s the co-leader of NatureKids Cowichan Valley Weekend Club, says that it warms her soul when kids get excited about a new nature discovery and NatureKids gives them that on a monthly basis with different Explorer Days.
As a retired teacher and park interpreter, Brian Herrin was initially motivated to become a volunteer author for NatureWILD Magazine as it gave him a chance to share his passion for raising small invertebrates. One article turned into many, and he continues to enjoy editing and writing articles about fascinating creatures, plants and the natural world. For him, the biggest gifts that NatureKids gave him are wonderful friendships and collegial relationships that keep him involved with the natural world.
Thank you to all our volunteers who believe in our mission of helping kid explore, play, learn about and take action for nature. We wouldn’t be able to do the important work that we do without your help.