Written by Guest Blogger: Taari Coleman, longtime Shakori Hills GrassRoots Volunteer
The first time you volunteer for the festival it will likely be for the ticket. And no one faults you for that, it’s the same reason most of us did.
You’ll sign up to do set up, or work in the kid’s tent, or in one of the food booths and as you scroll through the application you’ll be casually thrown by how many ways you can offer your time, how many ways you can make a difference.
Because it’s your first time, when you arrive at the Festival Grounds, you might be a bit nervous. And no one faults you for that either. Most are nervous when faced with meeting new people and potentially embarking on a new task. But the nerves quickly fade as you realize that everyone around you is exactly where they want to be, and very happy to be there.
And then you’re put to work. You’re painting faces, scooping ice cream, directing drivers to parking spaces, checking wristbands, or riding around with the trash and recycling crew. And everyone is excited to see you, even if they’ve just met you a half hour ago. Maybe you weren’t aware that the spirit of Shakori exists not only in each individual person, but in the very ground itself, in the effort put in to make this thing happen and make it good, in the way people smile and cheer as they pull slowly up the gravel driveway, but you know that now, because you helped pull it off and you feel it the way you can feel the beginnings of rain on your skin.
So the first time you volunteer it’ll probably be for the ticket; but the second time you volunteer for the festival, it’ll be because you know that the magic is real and you want to be a part of that.