It’s a Dirty Job, but the Best Job
By Thomas Epp, Festival Campground Enviro Crew
As long as I can remember I’ve loved music which is obviously one of the reasons I keep coming back to Folk Fest every year. The main reason I keep coming back every year, however, is so that I can have a volunteer shirt that smells like old beer even a year after the festival. That’s right - I’m talking about sorting empties on the Campground Enviro Crew.
I've been volunteering with Campground Enviro for the majority of my Folk Fest years and have been able to consistently point to my volunteer experience as a highlight of every July. Now, there isn't much fancy about Campground Enviro - we just try to encourage Festival Campers to clean up after themselves and make sure they know where to get garbage and recycling bags so that they can keep their little tent villages clean. It’s way better when they’re clean. We also sort empties (you cannot imagine how many there are from five days of people not having responsibilities), we organize the empties and turn them in for refund at the end of the week. The empties money goes back into the campground in the form of new fire pits, picnic tables and weather shelters (among many other things) to help make the camping experience enjoyable for everyone. I love being able to see the fruits of my labour.
While organizing garbage and sorting empties can be dirty work, Enviro is always greeted by campers with a smile and encouraging word - you can really tell you’re appreciated when you walk by a dirty campsite on Thursday and see it spotless and clean on Friday. Our crew has a great opportunity to get to know festival-goers in a unique way which is one of the best parts of the job. I love being out in the sun meeting new people including other people on the crew who are basically a bunch of people who like to have fun while they work. There's never a shortage of laughs on Campground Enviro and I'm continually encouraged by the hard work that my crew puts into their tasks - they're really inspiring in the way they take ownership and pride in their work.
While I can't compare it to any other volunteer crew, I can safely say that Campground Enviro is the best and most funnest crew at Folk Fest. Ever. Not only do we get to enjoy the company of a top-notch crew and get to know people, we also get to greet campers first thing every morning while we re-supply the Rene's with toilet paper - and nothing makes someone love a volunteer like a fresh, chubby, white, roll of toilet paper.
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