By: Becky Fertitta
Read the full September issue of Viewpoints.
As I write this edition of “Viewpoints from the Visitor Center,” I feel that summer has really flown by. Maybe that is because I just spent the entire month of July with some of the most incredible young people anywhere. That is what I have done.
At the end of June, 2012, 13 teenagers had just graduated from our junior interpreter program. Each and every one was excited and eager to volunteer, and I wanted to put them right to work. Unfortunately, we schedule our volunteers a month in advance, so making numerous changes would have been a logistical nightmare. But that planted a seed in my brain: in 2013, why not schedule JIs to give July tours? I held on to that thought for many months, and at the right time started recruiting them to work.
By the middle of June I knew I could pull it off. Now, at the end of what I’ve nicknamed the “Junior Interpreter Bonanza,” I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. Twenty-one of the 25 active JIs on our roster gave tours and worked multiple times, logging in 195.75 hours of volunteer time. The total number of visitors who visited during July was record setting—500—and over 100 were children. I have polled several of the JIs, and they believe we should repeat the “Junior Interpreter Bonanza” in 2014. I’m certainly game. It’s been a real treat to spend time with this fine group of young people. If they are in charge of the world when they grow up, we are in good hands.
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