Generally speaking, I try my best to separate my personal and professional lives. Sure, I often volunteer on weekends and most of my friends have heard me yammer incessantly about Volunteer Maryland, VISTA, and all sorts of great projects going on in our area. The other way around though, not so much. It can be frustrating, but I think I do a good job of leaving my opinions and passions outside of the nonprofit world at home.
There is one major exception, though: I’m vegan. Have been for a couple of years and it’s one of those things that people figure out pretty quickly even if you don’t talk about it all the time. Between declining most meeting food and bringing strange things to potlucks (raw deviled eggz, anyone?), it’s kind of known. Add to that the fact that our VISTA program manager Linda is also vegan and we tend to geek out over recipes and, well, our passion for plants is fairly well known.
I have just had a rare chance for my love of service and plant-based foods to come together, thanks to Katelyn Ryan. She has been working diligently to recruit volunteer presenters for the F.E.V.E.R summer camp at St. Margarets which is being run by the The Maryland Umbrella Group. This camp focuses on Fitness, Environment, Volunteerism, Education and Responsibility. Katelyn thought that Linda and I would be a good fit for a 45 minutes presentation, so we’re going to be talking to the kids on August 4.
I am terribly excited, but also trying to think of ideas of how to present the ideas to the campers. There will be 25 youth ranging from five to twelve years old, and I’m trying to think of a way to engage such a wide age range. I know that I want food, some type of interaction, and a way to look at vegetarianism and veganism as two of many options to eat healthily. That’s where it gets hazy, though. Maybe a cooking demo? Maybe a snack that the kids can make themselves? Is there a way to fit that into 45 minutes?
I don’t have much experience working with kids, so I’m honestly a bit overwhelmed and am looking for suggestions of all types. I am, however, very excited and will definitely let you know how it goes!