By Jessica Vance
Everyone Benefits When You Get Involved
Delora Fiers chooses to volunteer with us as a way to contribute to the ongoing success and presence of Wolf Ridge in her community. In retirement, she’s discovered that it’s the perfect way to involve herself with activities and people who make her feel whole.
Q&A With Delora
What interested you in becoming a volunteer with us?
Most of my adult life, I took care of what and who needed taking care of, worked both outside and in my home, and paid the bills. Generally, that meant rarely finding time just for myself. I came to realize that I wanted to participate in my community and that there are many ways to contribute and feel energized. What I have discovered is that every skill I acquired throughout my life is useful when volunteering at Wolf Ridge – a new perspective on transferable skills.
What is the best part about volunteering at Wolf Ridge?
Supporting Wolf Ridge as a volunteer means I can be useful just as I am – available and willing to give it my best effort. There is no long list of requirements for the job or scrutinizing if I will be a good fit. I am greeted warmly by staff, and together we focus on what needs doing in a work environment where I am appreciated and valued.
“After volunteering at Wolf Ridge, I drive home feeling energized and like I have contributed to my community. You may find volunteering here is just what you need.”
— Delora Fiers
What have you learned as a result of volunteering with us?
Fluctuations – in staff, housing, resources, money, and more – will always be part of the challenge of keeping an organization like Wolf Ridge operational. Volunteers are valuable because they lessen the effect of these inevitable fluctuations.
Lessons in the environmental learning curriculum include conserving resources and reducing waste. Volunteers contribute to achieving these goals. When I volunteer my time to complete a necessary task, I reduce the cost of overhead. So, I give a little of my time and everyone benefits – the organization, the staff, campers, their parents, the schools they represent, the teachers, the community, and the environment.
What do you want others to know about Wolf Ridge?
My grandchildren attended Wolf Ridge summer camps, where they were free to experience new challenges, learn new things hands-on, and work together with other campers to accomplish goals in a place where each child is respected, safe, and valued.
During the school year, schools, both public and private, endeavor to offer the most comprehensive education they can for students. Wolf Ridge provides a unique campus to expand on what is possible in the school classroom. Parents, students, teachers, and school administrators go to great lengths to make it possible for entire classrooms of students to attend Wolf Ridge together. I feel this is an effort worth supporting. I want all children, not only my grandchildren, to have the opportunity to be a camper at Wolf Ridge.
Related to your Wolf Ridge volunteer experience, is there anything that has surprised you?
What pleasantly surprises me is the ability of the maintenance staff to keep the very long gravel road up to Wolf Ridge in drivable condition 12 months of the year, through rain, drought, mud, ice, and snow.
This is not a surprise, but it is worth calling attention to. The staff treats campers with respect, and campers are respectful in return. 200 Wolf Ridge campers in one room will freely and loudly express their enthusiasm. It is a happy chaos within safe limits. Wolf Ridge is a healthy environment for the campers, the staff, and the volunteers.
Inspired by Delora’s story? Volunteer today!