Thursday, October 31, 2013

Junior Volunteer Spotlight - Shayne Sifford

Shayne began volunteering at The World Bird Sanctuary on a cold winter day in February of 2012.  Youngsters can become Junior Volunteers at the age of 13.

Junior Volunteer Shayne Sifford
Shayne is usually a Sunday volunteer.  He is an awesome kid. Joy radiates from him. He loves animals and that love shines through when he shares his knowledge and love of the creatures he cares for with our guests.  

Shayne is especially fond of our display and program Rats.  Yes, I said Rats.  He cuddles them, lets them crawl all over him and shares them with guests who come through the front door of our Nature Center.  Does the thought of cuddling Rats and letting them crawl on you make you shudder?  It is not something that I go out of my way to do, but Shayne does it every weekend, and by sharing his love of these misunderstood creatures with guests he helps to dispel some of the fears and misconceptions many people harbor about rats.

When you walk into the Nature Center and see Shayne beaming with joy, peek up on his shoulder to see if the rat named Betty is up there.  If not, maybe it will be the rat named Veronica.

Shayne’s Mom, Lisa, is also a wonderful volunteer with a great spirit.

Former Staff person Emily Hall and I brought our Free Flight Bird show called Raptor Awareness to Sperring Middle school, which is the school Shayne attends.  Shayne was in the audience for our presentation as we had the trained birds fly over the middle schoolers’ heads. We acknowledged Shayne during our presentation.  We brought Shayne up to take some photos immediately after the program.

Shayne Sifford with Mischief our White-necked Raven and former Staff member Emily Hall.

We love seeing Shayne on Sundays at World Bird Sanctuary’s Nature Center. He brings joy to us all of us and to our animals. Come in on a Sunday morning and meet Shayne and his animal friends.

Photos and story by Michael Zeloski, Director of Education 

No comments: