Every Friday, two ’15 campers come to the Foundation Office – not to say hello or hangout, but to volunteer. For the past few months, these students have been archiving old Camp documents: a series of newspapers, yearbooks, and Sundials from years past. Their afternoons are spent digging through the memories of older alumni, some of which they can relate to, and others which feel distinct and foreign.
In our alumni community, volunteerism is not a novelty. Many of us are presently volunteering somewhere and nearly all of us have volunteered our efforts at some point in our lives. It is likely that our best volunteering experiences were times when we felt that our work mattered. That, because we gave our time, we made some degree of difference. That our work, though unpaid, had value.
In some cases, it’s easy to imagine what that difference is. If you volunteer at a soup kitchen, you help feed someone. If you volunteer at a park clean-up, you help change the atmosphere of a neighborhood. It is harder to measure that degree of difference if you volunteer at an office. For the students who are archiving Camp documents, the difference may seem small – but only because there is so much more that needs to be done. So, they come every week. So, they always get right to work.
The LAJF Office is moving. For weeks, the staff team has been coordinating logistical details. We are counting the materials we will be moving with us. We have placed a red sticker on everything we will be leaving behind. If you have ever moved before, you know how complicated the process can be. As an alumni-based organization, LAJF is always eager for alumni volunteers. Now, however, we’re asking for a more focused support: help us move. Help us scan archival documents. Help us pack boxes. Help us set up our new office home. Help us, so we can better help you.
One of my favorite things about Camp is the difference between the beginning and the end of the season. On the first day, how the campers have to lug their bedframe and mattress up to tent hill, how they struggle alone carrying these heavy things, how shy everyone is to ask for help. During the last days of the summer, we close down tent hill. The community breaks down bedframes. People pile up the mattresses and carry them down the hill. Everyone works together. People speak up, people admit when they need another hand. It’s because they know each other. It’s because they have learned to work together.
LAJF needs volunteers in New York City from February 16-19 to help with our move. A team at our old location is needed to scan documents and pack boxes. Another team will be at the new office to set up furniture and technology. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest and availability.