Last night was the CMA Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. It was so wonderful to be there with all of my fellow volunteers. When I came into this last fall, I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay in the area, and still, Petaluma is on my mind. But if I DO end up leaving for anywhere else, this will be the hardest to leave.
Right now I’m trying to plan things around staying on. It’s so important to be doing something you feel good about, with an organization you feel good about. I feel good about the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
While it was a huge honor to be given the Distinguished Achievement award, the highlight of the evening was the Volunteer of the Year Award. It was very gratifying to hear my nominating letter being paraphrased (to remove any identifying information and keep the suspense) for this truly excellent docent, one who was one of my first welcomes to the Aquarium.
There were two docents in particular, and I wish I could have nominated them both, because they’ve both been there from the beginning, and both been such great examples of the kind of family Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is. Over the last several months, I’ve come to see so many shining examples of what it means to be part of something truly wonderful, to be all working together with a common goal and a love for the ocean, despite all our differences in gifts, personalities, and yes, even politics.
It felt a little strange being thanked by aquarium staff, when I feel so strongly that it is I who should be thanking them for the amazing experiences I have as a docent, for being welcomed into the Cabrillo family, and for the opportunity to learn and explore at the same time I teach and try to instill a little wonder and love for the ocean in the minds and hearts of all our visitors at the aquarium.