Sunday, January 19, 2014

Junior Volunteer of the Year

In our October blog Director of Education Mike Zieloski wrote a post introducing Junior Volunteer Shayne Sifford. 
Shayne Sifford & Director of Education Michael Zieloski (photo by Gay Schroer)
It is our pleasure to announce that Shayne has been given the Junior Volunteer of the Year award at the World Bird Sanctuary’s annual award ceremony. 

What is a junior volunteer you may ask?  First of all let’s look at the definition of a volunteer. The dictionary defines a volunteer as “…. a person who willingly and without pay gives their own time, expertise and talents.”

Volunteers are vital to the success of the World Bird Sanctuary and are welcomed as family.  Our volunteer program offers something for everyone, including the unique opportunity to work directly with birds and animals.  The minimum requirement is 16 hours of work per month.  Previous animal experience is not required and all training is done on-site.  All volunteers are required to become a WBS Friend.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?  However, there is one more criteria.  Applicants must be at least 16 years old to handle birds of prey.

Junior volunteers must be at least 13 years old, but must be at least 16 years old to handle the birds of prey.  They have the opportunity to assist with daily chores in the education and animal management departments.  This position allows young aspiring naturalists to be in a safe proximity to the animals, while learning about conservation and animal care.   Some would be discouraged by this waiting period—but our truly dedicated Junior Volunteers use this time to learn all they can about the birds while experiencing the responsibilities of caring for our other live animals on a daily basis…an education within itself.

Shayne’s unbridled enthusiasm shines through every Sunday when he arrives at the World Bird Sanctuary’s Nature Center ready to work at whatever task needs to be done—whether that involves cleaning cages or greeting visitors.

If you happen to visit us on a Sunday look for Shayne.  He’ll be happy to tell you all about whichever animal he’s caring for at the moment.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer/Photographer

No comments: