I have always tried to instill in my girls since a very young age the importance of doing volunteer work. Once they started grade school I would tell them each year to pick something to do for someone else. When they were little we did things like visit the SPCA and donate money or for Hurricane Katrina we picked our a charity to donate money too and we also wrote letters to our representatives asking for more funding for Katrina rebuilding projects. But this year, since the girls are now 10 and 12, we decided we wanted to give our time.
So Alexey, Addisen and I decided to volunteer at the Oregon Zoo as Zoo Ambassadors. We volunteered not knowing what we would be doing or when but to our surprise we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at this year’s Oregon Zoo Dinosaur Exhibit. Now, I may be an archaeologist and the field methods used might be some what the same but there is a big (no joke intended) difference between Archaeology and Paleontology. So, I was a little worried at first because there was so little that I knew about dinosaurs except for the T-Rex and a few others, but the girls were so excited and they seemed to really be interested in the Dinosaurs that I just went along for the ride. To prepare ourselves to become Zoo Ambassadors, Alexey, Addisen and I have had 16-hours of training at the Zoo over the past several weeks and surprisingly I actually now know what a Compsognathus is as well as what a Pachycephalosaurus and I can pronounce their names too…Amazing.
Anyway, as Zoo Ambassadors we volunteer 4-hours per week at the exhibit as a family from May through September 2008. The best part about it is that it is fun, we feel like we are making a difference in our community and we get to go to the Zoo as often as we like for FREE!!! It really is a great opportunity for the girls to give back to the community but also it is a great chance for them to get to know their local Zoo and to get to know the animals that live there.
The Exhibit Details:
As for the Dinosaur exhibit... it's fantastic and lots of fun. It is when tooth and tale come alive at the Oregon Zoo and where we are given the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the wonders of prehistory, from the safety of the present. I heard a visitor say last weekend … “it’s too bad they have to be animatronics dinosaurs…”… what? what is this guy thinking. Anyway, the exhibit shows the dinosaurs in the ancient rain forest and this is where we come face to face with the gigantic moving exhibit. There is a section to dig for fossils, find dinosaur egg nests, and track a T. Rex, all while making dinosaur discoveries along the way. The exhibit trail is located near the Asian Elephant habitat (which is great as I love Elephants) and throughout the trail there are more than one dozen animatronics dinosaurs that roar, snarl, and move with lifelike ferocity.
Tomorrow, May 24th is our first official day as Zoo Ambassadors. We are really excited and hopefully on our first day it won't rain and the Dinosaurs will behave.
Take some time and Volunteer with your family.
Stacey and Girls...