FOMO for the Schoharie Valley

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FOMO for the Schoharie Valley

On May 19, 2014, Posted by , In Blog,Volunteer, With No Comments

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. I wait and wait and wait for warm weather, and every year I’m surprised how fast it turns nice and I feel like I’m missing out on tons of fun outdoor activities.  It’s as though we in the North have to fit a year’s worth of events into four months.  My Google Calender is full of local events – I’m not going to go to three plant sales in one day, but I NEED to know about them.  Do I go to the Friday night state park open night or the annual cruise in?  Can I squeeze in both? I second-guess my regular schedule.  Sure, I love weight lifting, but does spending time in the gym mean I’m not spending time outside on a nice day?  Can I assuage my guilt by promising myself I’ll read outside afterwards?

Life - it takes balance

Life – it takes balance

So I packed up my little backpack with some water and took a book out of the library for identifying trees and spent some time at Landis Arboretum.  I actually never spent much time noticing Spring – it happens so fast! – and was really fortunate to visit when I did.

Bladdernut blossom - weird name, awesome blossom.

Bladdernut blossom – weird name, awesome blossom.

This wild apple tree made my heart soar

This wild apple tree made my heart soar

Rough-and-tumble Rachel was scared of the porcupine.

Rough-and-tumble Rachel was scared of the porcupine.

This was my first visit to Landis Arboretum and I absolutely fell in love.  A volunteer offered a guided walk around the Native Plant Trail, a project he’d been working on for about 10 years.  He was so friendly and passionate, the day was so nice, and it was so much fun, I wondered if Landis needed volunteers.  Though I haven’t got one ounce of plant know-how in me, I dream of being an herbalist with a little farm with chickens and goats.

Dandelions - it's not a weed, it's medicine!

Dandelions – it’s not a weed, it’s medicine!

Though I couldn’t further plant knowledge, maybe they would need help clearing trails, or set-up for events, or making phone calls for fundraising.  I have some skills that a nonprofit might need but might not have the funds.  So I checked out the web site, and it reminded me a lot of SALT’s volunteer page.  They are asking for the same help: committees, media, event help, donor relationships. And that suddenly shook me out of my winter stupor.  I had been on the recruitment end of volunteering since September that I almost forgot what it was like to BE a volunteer.  I went to Landis for a simple hike and to see someplace new, and by the end of the first day I wanted to help out and went to the web site myself. Volunteering is a way to give precious personal effort to a cause.  It’s a selfless act, though the volunteer may get something out of it too: a change you can see, socializing, leadership, influence, training, or maybe just a free T-shirt and snacks. I want to learn about native plants, meet new people, and use my new resource development skills as well as learn new ones. You might have a passion for the Schoharie County community, or feel that preparedness is key to a resilient Valley, or network with community leaders, or use and hone a skill.  SALT has a place for you if you really want to volunteer. Sincerely, Rachel, AmeriCorps VISTA

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