My son has enjoyed being a camper for the last few years and a "junior counselor" last summer. He has had a great time and we've seen his patience and leadership skills come out as he learns to engage and help the younger kids. It seems to be a place where all kids feel welcome and cared about and where they feel free to explore the outdoors and play fun and active group games. Thank you!
Review from Guidestar
Piedmont Wildlife Center engages children, teens and adults to participate in outdoor activities that involve learning about the animals and natural habitats within central North Carolina. Plus, they take the time to answer hundreds of calls every month from people who ask about what to do with found injured wildlife or baby animals and give the callers specific instructions depending on the circumstances. I was overly impressed with the knowledge of the staff and their desire to encourage people to take an interest in the environment living around them.
I had some good experiences volunteering at Piedmont Wildlife Center as I felt I was contributing and there are nice people there, but when I set a limit against doing any (and usually last minute) administrative task (I didn't sign up for that), which seemed to pop into one leader's head while I wasn't given the information I needed to do my agreed upon tasks, I realized this area of administration is probably running along a rut, and I needed to leave. The Center seems to have two strong programs, with each leader very focused on their interest. So, for example, if you want to volunteer to work with raptors, you are likely to have a good experience. There aren't many volunteer roles for the Center's biggest strength, youth and teen camps and adult workshops, but the education director does take time to listen to and support the volunteers and interns as much as her schedule allows. Other areas mentioned in the Center's mission statement are run chaotically. I heard (summer '10) the mission statement is being revised, so perhaps these challenges will be addressed with the changes. For now, I only recommend accepting short-term, group volunteer assignments. The special projects coordinator, a volunteer, does a good job leading group tasks such as grounds maintenance.
After meeting with the Board several times and completing a fair amount of web research, I joined the Board. My experience is that the group is very dedicated to wildlife and educating the public. The Center's outreach programs are exceptional at providing personal and hands-on education to all ages. The staff and volunteer time and energy committment is amazing.