Volunteering at MWO.

2008-06-25 04:17:58.000 – William Lanford,  Summit Volunteer

Mr. Pizza.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
-Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

The home page of Mount Washington Observatory states, “Since 1932, the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory has been keeping watch on one of the planet’s most extreme places, the 6,288 foot summit of Mount Washington. We invite you to become a part of it.” I have done just that as a volunteer, (place website for volunteering, MWO) for one week during the month of June 2008.

Arriving early Wednesday morning in anticipation of what the unknown might bring, meeting new people in a strange environment with certain expectation, brought about a feeling of trepidation. However, I could not turn back as I was 1,228 miles from home. Things began on a positive note when I found resting in the parking lot my volunteer cohort for the week, Michael. We chatted getting to known one another. We met the rest of the team for this week’s stay on Mount Washington: Brian, Shift Leader/Educational Observer; Ryan, Staff Meteorologist; Steve, IT Observer; Ted, Natalie, and Matt, interns.

Once we arrived at the summit, after stopping every few miles where Matt took readings as part of his Space Grant research project, we created a chain whereby unloading all of our team’s gear and supplies for the week. For the next couple of hours, we met last week’s team being debriefed on their accomplishments and learning what was expected from the volunteers.

Michael and I were shown our living quarters along with our work space for next week. We were well stocked with supplies in anticipation of our preparation of culinary delights for the next week. As one of the main responsibilities of volunteers for the week, is that of cooking the evening meal for the staff of MWO. However, Michael and I had the opportunity of preparing Friday’s lunch for a very special group, L. L. Bean. One of the supporters who help contribute to the continuation of MWO’s purpose. Throughout the week, Michael and I were able to experience the many sights offered high atop the summit of Mount Washington, fog. However, the skies did break one evening as well as morning for a glorious sunset and sunrise.

As part of my raising, my parents have instilled in me a sense of servitude towards others. I have found my place atop this summit meeting and creating new friends while fulfilling this desire of service.

Volunteering, whether it is through MWO or through another organization, is a great way to serve others while broadening one’s personal horizons.

MWO, thanks for expanding those experiences.


William Lanford,  Summit Volunteer

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