Opinion

Junior volunteers at the museum

Junior volunteers are a group of children from age 10 on, who are involved in the Nylander Museum of Natural History and its mission. They came to the museum with family or a school tour, and wanted more. 

Among the benefits for these volunteers are increasing skills in communication, leadership, team work, work ethic and program development. Some students may need volunteer hours for school, which can be fulfilled through the museum. 

The following account was contributed by junior volunteer Alex Hale. 

“Being one of the first members of the Nylander Museum’s junior volunteer program has been an entertaining and educational experience. I have been a member of this program for three years. During this time I have created displays, prepared activities, and done my best to inform people about Olof Nylander and his work with nature. 

“One of my favorite parts of volunteering is showing people the many exhibits in the museum. The most interesting of these exhibits are the taxidermied animals that grace the North Gallery including a black bear, an albino porcupine, and a bull moose mount. 

“One benefit of volunteering at the Nylander Museum is learning about the area that we live in and about Olof Nylander. Did you know that tourmaline is the state mineral of Maine? Did you know that Mr. Nylander discovered a new variety of orchid? These facts and many more can be found at the Nylander Museum in Caribou. 

“Another benefit of volunteering at the museum is that you get to have a hand in the planning and running of events and features at the Nylander. The Nylander offers certain theme weeks such as Dino Days and Bugging You. Watching countless kids smashing plaster of paris molds searching for a plastic dinosaur is both chaotic and exciting. 

“One of the favorite activities I have planned is the Take and Make bags which have acted as a placeholder for our regular events during the pandemic. 

“I have been honored to serve our community in this manner. If you are thinking of volunteering or would like more information, please call the museum at (207) 493-5923 or find us on Facebook.” 

Several members of the Nylander Board work closely with junior volunteers and value their dedication. Volunteering is a tremendous opportunity for those interested in natural sciences, who are curious about the museum or want a new experience. Come join us.

This column is the work of the Nylander Museum Board of Directors.

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