National Volunteer Week!

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We love our volunteers! Each year during National Volunteer Week, we like to shine the light on our wonderful volunteer team and we invite you to join us in giving them a heartfelt "Thanks!"

Did you know that we usually have between 12 - 24 volunteers as part of our amazing team? They devote anywhere between 2 - 6 hours of their time each week to come in and help make the Conservatory an awesome place.

Our volunteers lend their skills and passion in a variety of ways: educating and sharing with visitors about the butterflies and bugs, keeping the gardens healthy and beautiful, or caring for our live animals (birds and bugs alike). 

We asked several of our volunteers the following questions so they could share with you why they enjoy volunteering:

1) Why did you choose to volunteer at the Conservatory?
2) How long have you been volunteering? What are some of the jobs you do?
3) Why do you like volunteering at the Conservatory?
4) What's one of your most memorable experiences while volunteering?
5) Why do you think volunteering in your community is important?

Brooke

volunteer brooke

  1. I love working with animals and teaching others about nature. I had been to the conservatory before and loved interacting with the bugs.
  2. Volunteering for just over one year. I help in the morning preparing to open, like sweeping the paths and putting out fruit trays. Handling live bugs and providing information about them to guests is a lot of fun. I've also started doing story time, reading books to children and connecting them to some fun facts about the bugs. I like talking with guests about the emergence window and how surprised they often are to find out that the butterflies hanging there are real and alive.
  3. I love seeing the butterflies and being surrounded by nature, even if it's inside. It's great to see how excited guests are about meeting bugs, or watching someone overcome their fear and pet one.
  4. Introducing hissing cockroaches to guests from a senior home. They were so interested in learning about the animals and asked great questions, fearlessly touching the bugs. They really wanted to learn, and their enthusiasm was contagious as other guests arrived and met the cockroaches too.
  5. Volunteering is important to support organizations that provide important opportunities to the community. It's also a great way to gain experience in a field, or be active in a totally different type of work.

volunteer joel

Joel:

  1. Because I like to play with bugs! I like to teach people about bugs. And Cheecho's pretty great.
  2. (Volunteering for one year) Play with bugs! Feeding and caring for the birds, feeding the butterflies, and socializing with Cheecho. I do the interpreting and the sharing the bugs with people.
  3. Bugs?
  4. I like the unexpected things that happen, like when we found a toad near the pond. Making friends with Cheecho and feeding him fruit in the mornings was an accomplishment.
  5. I think it's important to support an organization or community that you believe has a positive impact on people.

Hillary:

  1. I chose to volunteer at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory because I instantly loved the atmosphere. After my first visit I thought to myself "I want to work here." I applied to volunteer right away. I am happy in my role and I have thoroughly enjoyed my volunteer experience thus far. I am a huge insect enthusiast and animal lover, which is wvolunteer hillaryhy Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is the place for me!
  2. I am a Nature Interpreter. My main responsibilities include engaging guests through insect encounters (handling live insects), sharing information, and preparing interpretation stations. I also assist with daily upkeep and maintenance of the conservatory such as feeding insects, misting habitats, filling nectar bowls, and sweeping. I have been volunteering at Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory since May 2016 so I will be coming to the one year mark shortly. 
  3. Volunteering at the Conservatory is a lot of fun and always puts me in a great mood because it is a really positive environment. I love spending time with the insects and birds. I have learned so much during my time working at the Conservatory and I love sharing that information with guests. I enjoy the company of the staff and other volunteers, everyone is very laid-back and upbeat. I always look forward to my shift, it is the best part of my week!
  4. One of my most memorable experiences volunteering at Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory was the recent Swallowtail project. To see the entire life cycle was truly fascinating. It was really cool to see the butterflies laying their eggs when we introduced their host plant. Then came the caterpillars which were so cute, I love the snake-like camouflage and I enjoyed learning about their osmeterium. I also had the opportunity to watch a caterpillar make a chrysalis which was an amazing experience.
  5. I think volunteering is a great way to give back to our community and make a positive impact. When you are volunteering for a cause that you are passionate about, it makes it even better. 

Our volunteers are one of the reasons why visiting the Conservatory makes for an awesome experience! Next time you visit, please take the time to thank a volunteer for all they do. 

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Butterflies in Winter