At the Greensboro Science Center, we are honored to welcome approximately 750 volunteers each year, giving a cumulative 36,000+ hours of their time. With a friendly greeting and a warm smile, our volunteers help us carry out our mission each day, educating our visitors about our animals and exhibits and inspiring them to learn more.
Meet Betty B. Betty has been volunteering with us for about nine years now:
I have been a volunteer since the Animal Discovery Zoo opened in 2007. After my retirement from a healthcare career, I have been on a rotating schedule between the Zoo and the SciQuarium for my shift each week.
I began visiting the Science Center with my children in the late 70’s and early 80’s and have seen the transformation since the arrival of the Zoo in 2007. I stopped by one day in January 2007 on a lark just to check things out and decided to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Marion, our previous Volunteer Coordinator, was available and I went right down to chat with her and ended up enrolling in the first docent class. We met each week for 1 ½ hours in the evening for 4-5 weeks to learn what our duties would be, how to greet the public and demonstrate animal handling. It was dark the night of our zoo tour, so the Zoo Curator, Peggy, walked us around to give everyone a feel for how things would be laid out once the zoo was completed.
I feel fortunate that I have been able to meet so many different people from all over the country and the world, as well as new visitors from Greensboro making their first visit to the Science Center.
In 2009-2010, I became a Board Member and was able to contribute from the perspective of a docent, and could share visitor experiences and suggestions. It’s exciting to help visitors appreciate the variety of animals we have, how we care for them, and teaching them the value of our endangered species breeding program. The WOW factor reaction from visitors when they hear about our programs, camps and volunteer opportunities is truly impactful.
My most memorable experience has been when I was selected to be a Tier 2 Docent. As part of that program, I have had the opportunity to shadow Rachael, a senior keeper, as she cares for both the tigers and fishing cats. During the same shift, I was able to assist Rachael and Dr. Sam in the hospital with a minor procedure on one of our animals. It’s an experience that I will never forget and I am extremely grateful for having that opportunity.