I was skeptical at first about volunteering for a festival – it usually gets a pretty bad reputation. I was worried that I would miss my favorite sets, that I wouldn’t be treated well, or that the jobs would be boring. I’m sure those out there contemplating volunteering for their first time share in these concerns, but please, please, PLEASE do not let those thoughts dissuade you from joining in the volunteer experience! I didn’t miss a single one of my favorite sets, I was treated wonderfully by all staff members, and my jobs all ended up being very enjoyable!
With that being said, I want to share my “Volunteer Memory”, as it is one I will never forget. On the second day, I was assigned to monitor the VIP campground entrance. Sounds boring right? I definitely thought so, and I was less than enthused. Upon arriving to where I would be standing watch, I was introduced to the security guard I was paired up with for the night – Jannie. Our job was to scan wristbands and make sure that, obviously, only those with VIP wristbands were walking into the campsite. Unfortunately, the wristband scanner was malfunctioning and not working so we had to manually inspect everyone’s wristband. And let me tell you, Jannie and I made it way more fun than it sounds. She was a hoot right when I met her, and we were cracking jokes left and right. Eventually, we started getting the festival-goers involved by having them, for example, dance for us as a “security measure” in order to be allowed entrance to the campgrounds. They were loving our enthusiasm and energy, and nobody walked by us without cracking a smile. Jannie turned what may have been a tedious task into something that was enjoyable for both me and all the people we interacted with.
Between jokes, things got a little more serious as we talked about our lives and what we planned to do with our future. We talked about our aspirations, our mistakes, our worries, our goals… we talked about almost everything. In just a short amount of time, the connection we made with each other was outstanding. We knew we would probably never see each other again after this weekend, so we made the most of what time we had. Talking with someone who doesn’t know anything about you gives you a lot of freedom. You can talk to them without judgment and without worry because they’re only there to listen. We were able to be completely open with each other, and it’s very rare to have those kind of conversations.
We kept in contact a couple months after the festival, but we have since lost contact. I’m sure Jannie’s out there brightening the world with her humor and smile, and I will forever be grateful to Summer Camp for bringing us together!!