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Audubon Has Summer VolunTeens

Nilla Ecklof is one of the teenagers volunteering at Audubon Community Nature Center this summer. Pictured at right, she is helping young day campers with their creative nature projects.

The Audubon Community Nature Center has had a number of teenagers volunteer this summer.

“This summer teens are serving as camp counselors-in-training and assisting the staff and other volunteers performing administrative work, gardening, volunteer coordination, and animal care,” said Tina Preston, Audubon Community Nature Center volunteer coordinator. “They add so much to our whole program — plus they are a joy to have around!”

Each month, an Audubon Spotlight Volunteer is selected at random from all the individuals who have logged hours within the two previous months.

Preston is among those who are particularly thrilled to recognize one of Audubon’s youngest regular volunteers, 13-year-old Nilla Ecklof, for the month of July.

Nilla is an eighth grader at Jefferson Middle School in Jamestown where she participates in the honor society, student council, orchestra, chorus, volleyball, and varsity golf. In her spare time she loves painting, drawing, playing music (cello, ukulele, singing), playing sports and volunteering at Audubon.

Since Nilla started volunteering in late March, she has logged more than 50 hours, initially by helping out at many events and with general office work.

This summer, she has been selected to be an Audubon CIT (Counselor-in-Training) for ACNC Summer Camp. CITs assist counselors to teach nature-based lessons, supervise campers, maintain supplies, play games with campers, and help set up and clean up the classrooms and activities.

When asked about why she volunteers at Audubon, Nilla says, “My family are members. I thought it would be a good place to give back, and it gets me out of the house doing something fun.” Her favorite part about volunteering at Audubon? “It’s really fun watching the kids in summer camp experience and explore nature in a fun way. I like being a part of that as a Counselor-in-Training.”

Because she is also a volunteer recruiter and coordinates participation of other honor society members from her school, Nilla is assisting in the formation of a new group of volunteers that will be called “Audubon VolunTeens.”

Preston says, “Nilla is an inspiration for many of us here and for other kids to know what an impact youth can have on an organization like Audubon.

Thank you, Nilla, for your dedication to Audubon, and for demonstrating that volunteering at ACNC isn’t just for grown-ups!”

Both teens and adults who would like to learn more about volunteering at Audubon are encouraged to contact Preston at 569-2345 or TPreston@AudubonCNC.org.

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