The Virginia Living Museum (VLM) is lucky.
It’s lucky to be engaged with its community, it’s lucky to have so many volunteers, and most importantly, it’s lucky to have such appraisal from the people that know it. Though it started off small, the museum has exponentially grown in the years it has been open. Through every season, the museum is consistently visited by families from different walks of life, and through every visit, it spreads the message of connecting people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation.
Madelynn (Madi) Goodwin, a junior volunteer, is one of the people who helped to grow the VLM through her commitment. Madi works consistently with the museum in various capacities, including the teen conservationists program, a competitive position among youth. Madi began her work with the museum a little over a year ago as a touch tank volunteer, and it wasn’t long before she began training in other areas. Almost immediately after being on-boarded, she began volunteering regularly for three different assignments. It was apparent from the beginning that she was dedicated to helping not only the environment, but guests of the museum, as she worked to help provide them with fun and educational experiences.
After establishing herself, as a reliable volunteer and an asset to the museum, Madi pushed herself to be even more engaged, signing up to help in areas designed for children’s learning. Over time, staff noticed her drive and offered her larger roles with greater responsibilities, aiming to ensure that she continued to enjoy her service. Through her efforts, Madi has helped to teach the public of all ages the importance of conservation.
Currently Madi is training to handle reptiles and amphibians in front of guests, and has disclosed that she is “honored to spread and prove…[that]every part of nature is important”. We hope to continue working with individuals like Madi and ultimately create a home-like place for all of our volunteers.
Guest Writer: Shelbi Pullen